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US unhappy, while WikiLeaks thanks Russia for granting asylum to Snowden
Last Updated: 2013-08-02 14:06 | CE.cn
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By Li Hongmei

The owners of the WikiLeaks website are grateful to Russia for granting asylum to former CIA employee Edward Snowden, a statement published on the site on Thursday says.

It also stresses that Russia granted asylum to Snowden while a number other countries were afraid to help him because of the US pressure on them.

The WikiLeaks' statement qualifies the measures that the US is taking against Snowden and his helpers as illegal and disproportionate. It is the US who was behind the forced landing of Bolivia's president, WlikiLeaks claims. The US also threatened countries that tried to help Snowden with political and economic sanctions.

The statement says that these actions of the US run counter to the UN resolution 2312, which was adopted in 1967. According to this resolution, if one country grants political asylum to a person who is persona non grata in another country, the latter should not view this as an expression of hostility against itself.

On the other hand, the US still wants to view Edward Snowden's case separately from other issues of US-Russian relations, a spokesperson for the US State Department Marie Harf confirmed at a briefing on Thursday.

She reminded that both the Russian and the US governments had stressed several times that they don't want Snowden's case to aggravate the relations between the two countries.

However, at the same time, Washington is dissatisfied with Moscow's decision to grant temporary asylum to Snowden, Ms. Harf added.

High-level talks scheduled for next week between US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and their Russian counterparts are now "up in the air," a US official said on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, the White House said President Barack Obama may forego an anticipated Moscow summit this fall following Russia's decision to grant asylum to fugitive Snowden.

"We see this as an unfortunate development and we are extremely disappointed by it," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Asked whether Moscow's granting of a year's asylum in Russia to Snowden would affect a decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in September, Carney said, "We are evaluating the utility of the summit."

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