A top Democratic senator wants President Obama to call off his meeting next month with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the leader granted fugitive spy Edward Snowden asylum to live in the former Soviet nation.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday that Putin was a “schoolyard bully” and sitting down with him one-on-one at the G-20 summit to be held in St. Petersburg in September “would give Putin the kind of respect he doesn’t deserve at this point in time.”
Last week, Putin allowed Snowden to leave the Moscow airport where he was hiding for several weeks and live in Russia. The U.S. was hoping Putin would turn over Snowden, who is wanted for releasing top secret information on the National Security Agency’s spying powers.
“The relationship between the United States and Russia is more poisonous that at any point since the cold war because of this,” Schumer said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The Democratic lawmaker also said Obama should pressure other world leaders to request a change of venue for the G-20 summit, an annual gathering of economic superpowers.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appearing later on the same show said of Schumer’s comments: “For once I agree with Chuck Schumer.”