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

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora