Tags: obama | putin | russia | olympics

Obama on Russia: No Olympic Boycott; Putin Like 'Bored Kid'

Image: Obama on Russia: No Olympic Boycott; Putin Like 'Bored Kid'

Friday, 09 Aug 2013 05:31 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
President Barack Obama on Friday denied he has poor relations with Vladimir Putin after canceling their Moscow talks, but said the Russian president can sometimes appear "like a bored kid in the back of the classroom."

U.S.-Russian relations plunged to one of their lowest points since the Cold War this week after Russia granted temporary asylum to fugitive former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden. Obama retaliated by abruptly canceling a Moscow summit with Putin planned for early next month.

At a White House news conference, Obama insisted that he does not have bad personal relations with Putin. The two men had a testy meeting in June in Northern Ireland and from the photos of them at the time, it looked as if they would both rather have been somewhere else.

"I know the press likes to focus on body language, and he's got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom. But the truth is that when we're in conversations together, oftentimes it's very productive," Obama said.

Putin's sending of a telegram wishing former President George W. Bush well after a heart procedure this week was viewed by some Kremlin watchers as a sign that Putin was sending an implicit message to Obama.

The White House says Obama pulled out of the Moscow summit not just because of the Russian decision to grant asylum to Snowden, who is wanted in the United States to face espionage charges. U.S. differences with Russia have piled up recently over Moscow's support for the Syrian government in that country's civil war, as well as human rights concerns and other grievances.

 

U.S. TO 'TAKE A PAUSE'

Obama said the United States will "take a pause, reassess where it is that Russia is going" and calibrate the relationship to take into account the areas where they can agree and acknowledge that they have differences.

"Frankly, on a whole range of issues where we think we can make some progress, Russia has not moved," Obama said.

"I think there's always been some tension in the U.S.-Russian relationship after the fall of the Soviet Union," he said.

Obama did resolve one issue that has been debated in the United States. He said American athletes will in fact compete in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, in spite of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

"I do not think it's appropriate to boycott the Olympics," Obama said.

He said the best way to combat the law is for gay and lesbian athletes to do well in the Sochi Games.

"One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some guy and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which would I think go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there," he said. "And if Russia doesn't have gay or lesbian athletes, then, it'll probably make their team weaker."

U.S. and Russian senior officials sought to maintain a working relationship despite the tensions when they met in Washington on Friday.

The two countries agreed on the need to convene a Syrian peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible at the meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Report: Liberals Bash Hillary, Back Warren in Secret Emails

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 21:29 PM

Liberal activists are slamming Hillary Clinton in a members-only group on Google, with some calling for Massachusetts Se . . .

Sen. Barrasso: Obama 'A Dollar Short and a Day Late' on ISIS

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 20:54 PM

The Islamic State (ISIS) is out to attack the United States, but the Obama administration is woefully behind in going af . . .

Report: Feds Finding No Christie Links to Bridge-gate

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 20:53 PM

Federal prosecutors probing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Bridge-gate scandal haven't found any link yet between the  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved