News / Europe

Kerry: US Not Looking for Confrontation with Russia over Snowden

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal upon arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 25, 2013.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal upon arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 25, 2013.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal upon arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 25, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal upon arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 25, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington is not looking for a confrontation with Moscow over former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.  Snowden is in Russia avoiding arrest for disclosing secret details of U.S. government surveillance of telephone and Internet activities.

A day after warning Russia of "consequences" for helping Snowden, Secretary Kerry said there is no need to "raise the level of confrontation."

He is trying to downplay the diplomatic standoff, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called accusations of Russia violating U.S. laws or conspiring with Snowden "absolutely baseless and unacceptable."  Lavrov says Moscow has nothing to do with Snowden "or with his issues with American law enforcement."

Speaking to reporters in Saudi Arabia, Kerry said that while there is no extradition treaty between Russia and the United States there are what he called "standards of behavior between sovereign nations."

"There is respect for rule of law," said Kerry. "And we would simply call on our friends in Russia to respect the fact that a partner nation, a co-member of the permanent five of the United Nations, has made a normal request under legal systems for law to be upheld."

Kerry says the Obama administration hopes Russia does not see its interests as siding with a person who he calls "a fugitive from justice according to international standards of law."

"They do not have to enforce the law, but they certainly can allow him to be subject to the laws of our land and our constitution, which he is a citizen of," said Kerry. "And that is what we call on them to do.  We are not looking for a confrontation.  We are not ordering anybody."

He says the United States is "simply requesting under a very normal procedure for the transfer of somebody" just as Kerry says the United States transferred to Russia seven people in the past two years.

"Without any clamor.  Without any rancor," said Kerry. "Without any argument and according to our sense of the appropriateness of meeting their request.  And that is what we would hope they will reciprocate with here today."

Meanwhile Tuesday while visiting Finland, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed allegations Russia is breaking the law in the case as "nonsense and rubbish.''

Putin said he would not extradite Snowden because he has not broken any laws in Russia. He said Snowden is a free man and the sooner he chooses to move on from a Moscow airport transit area, the better for him and Russia.

Putin said Snowden has never worked with Russian security agencies and he hopes the affair will not affect relations with Washington.

Snowden leaked documents showing that U.S. intelligence services have gathered data for years about patterns of telephone and Internet use.  He said he believes the programs violate the privacy rights of citizens.

Snowden is facing charges of theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and the willful communication of classified intelligence information to an unauthorized person, each of which carries a maximum 10-year sentence.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid