Barack Obama has canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia’s decision to grant asylum to Edward Snowden, the White House said.
But President Barack Obama will still attend the G20 economic talks in St Petersburg.
A White House aide said Edward Snowden’s asylum had deepened the pre-existing tension between the two countries.
The Kremlin said it was disappointed by the move and that the invitation to bilateral talks remained in force.
Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, has admitted leaking information about US surveillance programmes to the media.
The decision to cancel the talks, announced during a trip by the president to Los Angeles, comes the morning after Barack Obama said he was “disappointed” with Russia’s decision to offer Edward Snowden asylum for a year.
In addition to Russia’s “disappointing decision” to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum, the White House cited a lack of progress on issues ranging from missile defense to human rights.
“We believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda,” the White House said.
The decision to cancel the US-Russia summit comes the day after Barack Obama appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, in which he condemned a newly enacted anti-gay law in Russia.
But the White House reaffirmed Barack Obama’s commitment to attending an upcoming round of G20 economic talks, which take place on 5-6 September in the Russian city of St Petersburg.
In the wake of the announcement, Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said it was clear the US had canceled the meeting over the Snowden affair.
In a conference call on Wednesday, Yuri Ushakov added the Kremlin was disappointed by the move and that the invitation for talks remained open.
“Russian representatives are ready to continue working together with American partners on all key issues on the bilateral and multilateral agenda,” he said.
Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin last met in June, on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Edward Snowden, an American former National Security Agency (NSA) technical contractor and CIA worker, in June leaked to the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers documents and details relating to NSA programmes that gather data on telephone calls and emails.
Edward Snowden, 30, fled his home in Hawaii, where he worked at a small NSA installation, to Hong Kong, and subsequently to Russia. He faces espionage charges in the US.
He spent about a month in a transit area of the Moscow airport as the US pressured other countries to deny him asylum.
On August 1st, Edward Snowden left the airport after the Russian government said it would give him asylum there for a year.