US President Barack Obama accused Russia of having “a Cold War mentality” saying he was “disappointed” that Moscow granted temporary asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden who is wanted in the US on espionage charges.
“There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality,” Obama said on NBC’s The Tonight Show on Tuesday.
“What I say to President Putin is, that’s the past and … we’ve got to think about the future. And there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate more effectively than we do.”
Obama, however, said that he would go to Russia this fall for a G-20 summit. But he did not say whether he would attend a separate meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his Russian trip.
US-Russian relationships have been further strained after Moscow rejected the White House’s pleas to return Snowden back to the US to face prosecution.
Snowden disclosed to the news media top secret documents he had obtained while working as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) which showed the spy agency is carrying out massive surveillance on both American citizens and other nationals via phone and the Internet.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that Washington would decide “in coming days” whether President Obama would attend the G-20 summit in Moscow in early September.
Russia has criticized the US for blowing the implications of its offering asylum to Snowden all but out of proportion.
“The US administration is bringing into question bilateral contact at the highest level. I think this is absolute distortion of reality, it’s looking at the world in a crooked mirror,” deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier in an interview with the Interfax news agency.
By Press TV
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