News / USA

White House 'Extremely Disappointed' in Russia’s Asylum Offer to Snowden

White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2013.
White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2013.
Kent Klein
— White House officials say they are “extremely disappointed” by Russia’s decision to grant asylum for one year to Edward Snowden, who is accused of leaking U.S. government secrets.  Officials are deciding how to respond.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday Russia’s offer of asylum to Snowden has undermined Russia’s record of law enforcement cooperation with the United States.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step, despite our very clear and lawful requests, in public and and in private, to have Mr. Snowden expelled to the United States to face the charges against him,” he said.

The former National Security Agency contract systems analyst had been living in a Moscow airport for the past six weeks.  Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the Obama administration’s demand that Snowden be returned to the U.S. to face espionage charges for leaks that revealed American surveillance practices.

Carney described Snowden as a security risk who has been in possession of classified information both in China and in Russia.

“Mr. Snowden is not a whistleblower.  He is accused of leaking classified information, and has been charged with three felony counts, and he should be returned to the United States as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections,” he said.

Moscow’s move could further strain U.S.-Russian relations, which are already under pressure from disagreements over Syria and other issues.

Carney said advisers were discussing whether to go ahead with President Barack Obama’s meeting with President Putin in Russia, scheduled to coincide with the September G20 summit in St. Petersburg.

“I do not have a scheduling announcement for you today, but obviously, this is not a positive development, and we have a wide range of interests with the Russians, and we are evaluating the utility of a summit,” he said.

Carney said Russia did not give the Obama administration notice of its asylum decision.  He said this was not just a legal matter, but also a matter of U.S. relations with Russia. 

The president’s spokesman, however, called the relationship between the two countries “broad and important.”  Carney said the benefits of engagement with Russia have been worth the accompanying conflicts and disagreements.

He said officials in Washington would continue to discuss the Snowden situation with their counterparts in Moscow. 

Some U.S. lawmakers have called on the president to take a tough stand against Russia, possibly including a U.S. boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid