President Obama on Tuesday repeated the White House’s line about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to grant NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum: he’s “disappointed.”
Obama told Jay Leno that despite the lack of an extradition treaty with Russia, “traditionally” the two countries haven’t had problems returning lawbreakers to each other, and he wished that Putin could have hewed to that for Snowden.
But, Obama acknowledged, despite the American-Russian cooperation over things like supplying troops in Afghanistan or tracking terrorists after the Boston Marathon bombings, he’s not surprised that things have reached this point with Moscow.
“In some ways it’s reflective of what’s been going on with Russia lately,” Obama said- “not major breaks,” but important ones that show a government he said is not living in 2013.
“There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and Cold War mentality,” Obama said. “What I continually say to them and to President Putin is that’s the past.”
Obama confirmed to the Tonight Show host that he would be attending the G20 summit in Russia, saying that despite the recent troubles with the host country, there was too much work to do with the other countries in the organization to skip the meeting. But he said nothing about whether he still planned to head to Moscow for a separate meeting with Putin.
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