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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora