MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said US leader Barack Obama’s decision to cancel a planned visit to Moscow was “no particular disaster.”
“I would like the US president to visit Moscow so that we have an opportunity to talk, to discuss issues that have emerged. But I also see no particular disaster in [the cancellation],” Putin said, according to a transcript of an interview with The Associated Press and Russia’s Channel One television that was released Wednesday.
Obama planned to visit the Russian capital ahead of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg due on September 5-6. However, the US leader officially canceled his visit, citing Moscow’s decision to grant a temporary asylum to fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, wanted by the US for revealing an extensive state surveillance network.
Putin in the interview complimented Obama as a good conversationalist.
“Our talks are always constructive, to the point and quite sincere. In this respect, the US leader is a very good conversation partner, it’s easy to talk to him because it’s clear what he wants, his stance is clear, he listens to the position of his conversation partner, his opponent, he reacts to it. For me, it is interesting to work with him,” Putin said.
He expressed hope that he would be able to meet with Obama on the sidelines of the upcoming summit to discuss disarmament, global economy and other issues.
“I expect that I will have an opportunity to talk to my US counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. I’m sure that if the meeting takes place, even … on the sidelines of the summit, it will be very useful in itself,” he said. “Anyway, we have many issues on which we are working and which we are interested in resolving.”
The Russian president said the Syrian issue would be raised during the summit and addressed in various formats.