US Threatens to Snub Vladmir Putin Over Edward Snowden

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Vladmir Putin

A spokesman said the Obama administration was “evaluating the utility” of a scheduled summit with Mr Putin in Moscow next month in advance of a G20 meeting in St Petersburg.

The White House has threatened to pull out of a summit with Vladimir Putin in retaliation for Russia’s decision to grant asylum to Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistleblower.

A spokesman said the Obama administration was “evaluating the utility” of a scheduled summit with Mr Putin in Moscow next month in advance of a G20 meeting in St Petersburg.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and private that Mr. Snowden be expelled and returned to the United States,” the spokesman said. Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, declared, “Russia’s stabbed us in the back, and every day that Snowden is allowed to be free they twist the knife further. Now that Snowden has been set free, I don’t think the G20 should be meeting in Russia, and I think we should not participate if they do.”

Moscow granted Mr Snowden one year’s temporary asylum, ending nearly five weeks of limbo in a Moscow airport. In a statement carried by WikiLeaks, Mr Snowden thanked the Russian authorities and accused Mr Obama of showing “no respect for international or domestic law” in the attempt to extradite him.

After leaking details of secret US and British mass online surveillance programs, the 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor was charged with espionage and theft of government property. His location is now unknown.

Source: Daily Telegraph

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