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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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