Is the Obama-Putin Meeting Cancellation Political Theatre?
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) — A mid-state political scientist - who specializes in Russia studies - says president Obama’s decision to cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin may be largely for show.
Middle Tennessee State University professor Andrei Korobkov notes that the U.S. continues to interact with Russia on several other diplomatic fronts in spite of the decision to cancel the Obama-Putin summit meeting.
Korobkov also says that Russia’s decision to grant asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the purported reason for the cancelation, is just the latest in a growing list of diplomatic challenges facing the two nations.
For its part, the U.S. is becoming alarmed by Putin’s increasingly autocratic tendencies and Korobkov says there’s good reason for that concern.
“Regardless of the external situation, the internal one is the worst – I would say – probably in 50 years right now and maybe even more in Russia. On the other hand, he (Putin)still wants to be a member of the club. He’s still a member of G-20 and G-8 and he doesn’t want to lose this status.”
Krobkovo says Putin was badly frightened by recent mass protests against his government and is using situations like the Snowden affair to distract the Russian people from serious domestic problems.