Obama to Meet with Russian Human Rights Activists at G20 Summit

Putin will no doubt be unhappy


U.S. President Barack Obama invited Russian human rights activists to meet him later this week, their groups said on Tuesday, a few weeks after snubbing Russian President Vladimir Putin amid spiraling disputes over human rights and security.

Obama, who will meet the activists in St Petersburg on the fringes of the September 5-6 summit of G20 leaders, last month pulled out of talks with Putin in a sign of the worst tensions between Moscow and Washington since the end of the Cold War.

The meeting with activists will underline U.S. displeasure over the state of human rights in Russia and new laws that critics of the Kremlin say clamp down on dissent, violate gay rights and restrain non-governmental organizations.