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Obama speaks with Putin on Snowden, but no sign of movement

Published on Jul 13, 2013 7:55 AM
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US President Barack Obama (left) holding a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland on on June 17, 2013. Mr Obama raised US concerns directly with Mr Putin on Friday over Moscow's handling of former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, but there was no sign of a breakthrough on Washington's demand that Russia expel him. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama raised United States (US) concerns directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday over Moscow's handling of former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, but there was no sign of a breakthrough on Washington's demand that Russia expel him.

Mr Obama and Mr Putin spoke by phone in a discussion that White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier would largely be about Snowden, who is wanted in the US for disclosing secret surveillance programs. Mr Carney had accused Russia of providing Snowden a "propaganda platform" to air his complaints about the US.

A White House statement about the Obama-Putin call offered no indication that Putin was prepared to send Snowden back to the United States.

"The two leaders noted the importance of US-Russian bilateral relations and discussed a range of security and bilateral issues, including the status of Mr Edward Snowden and cooperation on counter-terrorism in the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics," the statement said. The Sochi Olympics are in 2014.

 
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