WASHINGTON — 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.