The White House said Thursday that it is “extremely disappointed” in Russia’s decision to grant National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden temporary asylum in the country, casting it as a setback in the countries’ bilateral relationship.
“Mr. Snowden is not a whistleblower,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday afternoon.
Carney also suggested that the White House might make good on earlier threats to cancel a trip to Moscow in September to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We are evaluating the utility of a summit,” Carney said.
The anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks, which has been providing counsel for Snowden since his stay in Hong Kong, confirmed that Russia had granted Snowden temporary asylum for one year. In a statement, both WikiLeaks and Snowden praised Russia for their cooperation.
“Over the past eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning,” Snowden said in the statement released by WikiLeaks. “I thank the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws and international obligations.”
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