Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is happy President Barack Obama canceled a planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
First, it had to be done after Russia granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum rather than sending him back to the United States to face trial. And second, it's one less chance for Obama to make concessions.
Appearing on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" Wednesday, Bolton said the Obama administration has a lousy record with Putin. The Russians have flown cover for Iran's nuclear program, protected the Assad regime in Syria and outnegotiated America on the New START Treaty.
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Skipping the meeting with Putin is purely symbolic, Bolton said, whereas Snowden and Russia are doing real damage to America by exposing its spy techniques and making the U.S. look weak.
Obama should take action to cause Putin pain as well, he said, such as getting out of the New START arms control treaty and building up strong missile defense. China should also suffer consequences, he said, for giving letting Snowden escape to Russia.
Obama said on "The Tonight Show" Tuesday that the Russians sometimes think the Cold War is still on. But Bolton said Putin is only acting in what he believes to be Russia's national interest – and that conflicts with America's.
"I don't think President Obama understands the concept of clashing national interests or what to do about them," Bolton said.
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