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The Journal Gazette

Friday, August 30, 2013 6:16 pm

Officials: Obama trip about G-20, not Russia

By JOSH LEDERMANAssociated Press

The Obama administration says President Barack Obama can work constructively with Russia when he visits St. Petersburg next week - despite many policy differences between Moscow and Washington.

But administration officials, in a briefing for reporters, say Obama's trip is less a visit to Russia than a trip to the Group of 20 economic summit being held there.

It's a reflection of the tense U.S.-Russian relationship, which has deteriorated since Obama canceled a summit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia granted asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

Obama will meet privately with foreign counterparts while at the G-20. But no meeting is scheduled with Putin.