Interfax: Russian analysts believe Obama gave in to pressure of ‘cold war’ lobby
(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Russian political analysts believe that the cancelation of plans of U.S. President Barack Obama to have a one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin stems from strong pressure on the U.S. president on the part of hawks in the Congress and Senate.
“This indicates that Obama is failing to lead relations with Putin toward improvement. Even though the U.S. president is trying to do so, he clearly lacks the power. Obama is now under strong pressure from the ‘cold war’ lobby that exists in the U.S. Congress and Senate and it does not let the American president improve relations with Russia,” director of the Institute for Political Studies Sergei Markov told Interfax on Wednesday.
In his opinion, the U.S. president succumbed to pressure only fot the present moment but in general is not interested in freezing contacts with Putin. “I believe that Obama has kept the possibility of meeting with Putin open but not just now. He simply decided that he should give in to the pressure of the lobby following cold war stereotypes,” he said.
The so-called Snowden factor became an irritant for hawks but not Obama personally who came under pressure, member of the Scientific Council of the Moscow Carnegie Center Alexei Malashenko believes.
“Obama himself was not very bothered by the situation with Snowden. It is just that the hawks, angered by the prospect of Snowden’s father traveling to Russia, are pressuring the president,” Malashenko said.
AP reported earlier that Obama would not be meeting with Putin in Moscow but would take part in the G20 summit in St. Petersburg in September, at which no bilateral meeting with the Russian president is planned.
This step is seen as Obama’s retribution to Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to former CIA employee Edward Snowden and also reflects Washington’s growing frustration with Russia on several other issues, including missile defense and human rights, AP says.