Tags: graham | schumer | obama | putin

Sens. to Obama: Get Tough with Putin

Saturday, 20 Jul 2013 08:32 AM

By Matthew Auerbach

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Senators on both sides of the aisle want President Obama to put his foot down and demand a location other than St. Petersburg, Russia, for the upcoming G-20 summit if authorities from that country do not surrender NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, reports the Hill.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., have come together to offer a resolution suggesting Obama should exert pressure to have the G-20 summit moved from the planned site if Russia thumbs its nose at the U.S. and allows Snowden to stay in the country.

“On multiple fronts, Russia is becoming one of the bad actors in the world,” Graham said.

“For Russia to grant temporary asylum to Mr. Snowden on top of all this would do serious damage to our relationship.

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It is past time we send a strong message to President Putin about Russia’s actions and this resolution will help accomplish that goal.”

Schumer accused Putin of being “too eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States.”

“Enough is enough,” Schumer said.

“It’s time to send a crystal clear message to President Putin about Russia’s deplorable behavior, and this resolution will do just that.”

There is a growing perception in certain quarters that Obama would blink first in a showdown with Putin.

In an appearance on Fox and Friends last month, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Obama is no match for the Russian President.

“Who would you give greater odds to catch a fugitive, a former KGB agent or a former community organizer?,” asked Giuliani.

“Give me a break. A KGB officer, you know, is working him over.”

Giuliani claimed Obama’s lack of experience in situations like this is a serious detriment to any success that he hopes to achieve.

“Obama doesn't know how to play this game,” Giuliani said.

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“[Putin] is an experienced manipulator of intelligence, of world power, against a man who has … not-very-well developed views and no experience doing this.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said earlier this week that while Obama intends to be present at the G-20 summit this September in St. Petersburg, he also hinted that Obama would seriously considered shelving one-on-one talks with Putin that are scheduled beforehand in Moscow.

Carney provided no details about that possible decision.

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