WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House said early Monday it expected cooperation from Russia on returning fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.
"Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston Marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters - including returning numerous high-level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government - we expect the Russian government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the US to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged," said National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.
Ms Hayden also expressed disappointment with Hong Kong for allowing Snowden to leave "despite the legally valid US request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the US-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement.
"We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to US-Hong Kong and US-China bilateral relations," she said.
Snowden, a 30-year-old former intelligence contractor, is wanted by the United States on espionage charges, after he quit his job with the National Security Agency and fled to Hong Kong with a cache of secret documents.
On Sunday, Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow, despite Washington having requested his arrest and extradition. Hong Kong officials said the documentation supporting the extradition request had been incomplete.