With Snowden asylum, Russia hits reject on U.S. ‘reset’ policy
Washington Times ^ | August 1, 2013 | Dave Boyer
Posted on Friday, August 02, 2013 10:41:55 AM by george76
Snowden’s escape was a personal blow to Mr. Obama, who had spoken by phone with Mr. Putin in recent weeks to appeal for the fugitive’s return to face justice in the U.S.
Some Republicans said it was time for Mr. Obama to reconsider his administration’s “reset” with the Kremlin, initiated with fanfare during the tenure of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia,” Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said in a joint statement. They called on the Obama administration to push for expanded missile defense programs in Europe and to “move expeditiously on another round of NATO expansion, including the Republic of Georgia,” which Russia invaded several years ago.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike said the move was a serious blow to U.S.-Moscow relations and demanded Mr. Snowden’s return. Some Republicans said Mr. Putin was poking a finger in Mr. Obama’s eye.
The “action by the Russian government could not be more provocative and is a sign of Vladimir Putin’s clear lack of respect for President Obama,” said Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham, calling it a “deliberate effort to embarrass the United States.”
“We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for,”
Obama was even more circumspect, declining several times to answer reporters’ questions about Mr. Snowden during a meeting Thursday afternoon in the Oval Office with the president of Yemen.
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