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Officials: Obama trip about G-20, not Russia

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JOSH LEDERMAN | August 30, 2013 06:16 PM EST | AP


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.