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