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Jay Carney: Russia of Giving Snowden 'Propaganda Platform'

July 13, 2013

The United States has criticized Russia for allowing former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden meet with human rights activists while holed up in a Moscow airport, where he has been in limbo for nearly three weeks.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday that Russia is giving Snowden a "propaganda platform," which he said runs counter to Russia's declaration of neutrality in the matter.

Snowden, who is accused of leaking U.S. intelligence secrets, is seeking temporary asylum in Russia until he can travel to Latin America, where three countries have offered him asylum. The United States wants to put Snowden on trial for leaking details of clandestine National Security Agency surveillance programs.

Snowden met Friday with human rights activists and Russian lawyers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. Later, the secret-disclosing group WikiLeaks posted a statement from Snowden saying he wanted to stay in Russia until he could safely go to Latin America.

Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela have offered have offered Snowden asylum. But he has not been able to go anywhere because American officials revoked his passport.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone Friday on the Snowden case and other matters. No details of their talks have been released.

Russia has said Snowden should not harm the interests of the United States if he wants refuge in Russia.

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