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July 08, 2013

White House warns countries that might take Edward Snowden

With NSA leaker Edward Snowden marooned at a Russian airport without a passport, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the administration has had talks with a number of countries in which Snowden has sought asylum.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have, to varying degrees, offered refuge and Carney said the U.S. has been in touch -- "via diplomatic and law enforcement channels with countries through which Snowden might travel, or which might serve as a final destination.

"We've made very clear that he has been charged with a felony or with felonies and, as such, he should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than travel that would result in him returning to the United States," Carney said. 

As for Russia, Carney said the U.S. has noted that while it doesn't have an extradition treaty with the country, "we believe that there is a strong legal justification for Russia to expel Mr. Snowden and, given that he is wanted here on felony charges, that he should be returned to the United States."

He wouldn't speculate on the consequences should Russia allow Snowden to leave the country, saying his case "is not something that should negatively affect our relationship with Russia...I'm not going to speculate about outcomes that we hope don't come to pass, because we believe that the case is very strong that Mr. Snowden has been charged with felonies and needs to be returned to the United States."

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