WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has pulled out of a civil society dialogue with Russia to protest the Kremlin's crackdown on dissent and new laws against nongovernmental organizations.
The civil society talks are among several initiated by President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medevdev to reset strained U.S.-Russian relations.
But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says in light of Russia's civil society restrictions, the talks are no longer useful or appropriate.
Nuland also criticized Russia's Duma Friday for voting to ban homosexual events in Russia. She says, quote, "Nobody should be discriminated against for who they love."
Despite the reset, human rights and democracy disagreements continue to cause tensions between Washington and Moscow. The old Cold War foes are also at odds over Syria and missile defense.