When Russian President Vladimir Putin granted asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, it was the last straw for President Obama, who in 2008 famously pressed the proverbial “reset button” on Washington’s relationship with Moscow. Fast forward to today, and that relationship is the coldest it’s been in years.
Adding to the tension is Russia’s inhumane new law which prosecutes the discussion or “promotion” of homosexuality to anyone under the age of 18 — from showing affection in public, to pro-gay demonstrations on the streets. This has resulted in the arrest, imprisonment, and even deaths of gay men and women across Russia. As Putin continues to twist a thorn in Washington’s side, as well as send his country back to the Dark Ages, he also further diminishes his nation’s reputation as a worthy player on the world stage.
In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice gives her blunt opinion of Putin and Russia, and praises President Obama for cancelling a planned one-on-one meeting with Putin which would have followed the forthcoming G20 summit in St. Petersburg in early September. “The relationship today is really terrible, just to be very blunt about it,” Rice told Rose, “But it’s not the Cold War. The Russia of today is a diminished power. It still has nuclear weapons. It still has a security council veto. But it is, on any given day, the 14th, 15th or 16th largest economy in the world, in a world in which economic power matters.”
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