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U.S. urges Snowden's return from Russia


08:02, July 17, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The White House said Tuesday U. S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden should be expelled and returned to the United States to face espionage charges at home.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney said there are "regular communications between the U.S. government and the Russian government on a host of matters," including the Snowden case.

Snowden filed an official request for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday after spending three weeks in limbo in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

"Our interest has always been in seeing him expelled from Russia and returned to the United States," said Carney, noting that Snowden "is not a human rights activist. He is not a dissident."

Snowden is "accused of leaking classified information. He's been charged with three felony counts related to the leaking of classified information," he said.

Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, disclosed massive secret phone and Internet surveillance programs of the U.S. National Security Agency in early June.

Carney didn't give much hint as to how this case would impact U. S.-Russia relations, saying President Barack Obama "intends to travel to Russia in September for the G20 summit. And I don't have any further announcements with regard to that travel."

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