Obama To Speak With Putin On Friday: White House

by
Reuters
President Barack Obama will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin late on Friday, the White House said, hours after former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said he would seek temporary asylum in Russia.

Obama To Speak With Putin On Friday: White House

President Barack Obama will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin late on Friday, the White House said, hours after former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said he would seek temporary asylum in Russia.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the phone call had been scheduled for several days.

"I don't think it's the only topic that will be discussed," Carney said when asked if the phone call was just to discuss Snowden. "I don't want to predict or put in the president's mouth words that haven't been spoken."

He said the Obama administration had been communicating with nations around the world that the United States would like Snowden, who has divulged classified information about secret surveillance programs, to be returned to face charges in the United States.

Snowden has been in limbo at a Moscow airport since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23.

Asked what the implications would be if Russia granted Snowden asylum, Carney said "providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian government's previous declarations of Russia's neutrality."

He said it was "also incompatible with Russian assurances that they do not want Mr. Snowden to further damage U.S. interests."

In Moscow, Putin's spokesman repeated earlier conditions that Snowden should stop harming the interests of the United States if he wants asylum.