Thursday, March 26, 2015

Maybe they could go golfing?
Obama reportedly snubs NATO chief as Russia makes new threats against allies

President Barack Obama reportedly will not meet with NATO's new secretary general when he is in Washington this week, despite requests from the alliance chief's staff for a get-together. 
Bloomberg View reported Tuesday that Jens Stoltenberg's office requested a meeting with Obama in advance of his scheduled visit, but did not receive any response from the White House. Instead, Bloomberg View reported that Stoltenberg had to settle for a last-minute meeting with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. 
The White House on Wednesday dismissed the report about the snub as inaccurate.
"Those reports are entirely false," Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
Earnest also said the White House has been in touch with Stoltenberg's office and dismissed the assertion that Carter was a late fill-in because Obama was too busy.
Stoltenberg is scheduled to be in Washington through Thursday, primarily so he can attend a strategic brainstorming session involving military officials and experts from the U.S. and NATO. 
Stoltenberg, who replaced Anders Fogh Rasmussen as head of the world's largest military alliance in October, was able to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday, the day before Harper announced that Canada would expand its participation in the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The report of Obama's snub comes amid Russia's growing willingness to test NATO's military readiness. On Tuesday, NATO jets were scrambled after four Russian military planes were spotted flying over the Baltic Sea with their transponders turned off. Over the weekend, a Danish newspaper published remarks by the Russian ambassador to Denmark in which he hinted that Russian missiles could target Danish warships if Copenhagen joins NATO's missile defense system. 

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