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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid