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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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 to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid