US says Russia missing opportunity by skipping nuke summit


WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is criticizing Russia for skipping a global nuclear security summit in Washington.

More than 50 countries and international organizations are attending the summit later this week near the White House. The goal is to accelerate global efforts to secure nuclear materials and prevent nuclear attacks.

But Russia isn’t sending its president. Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says that decision is a “missed opportunity” for Russia.

Rhodes is praising China’s role in securing stiff new sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear test and rocket launch. President Barack Obama plans to discuss North Korea with China’s leader on the summit’s sidelines.

The White House says 17 countries will announce commitments at the summit to reduce threats and increase the security of nuclear materials.