Snowden gets Russia asylum; White House ‘extremely disappointed’

By Ashley Fantz. Ben Brumfield and Phil Black


MOSCOW (CNN) — The White House is “very disappointed” that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

Snowden has legal status in Russia for one year, his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said earlier Thursday, adding that his client has left the Moscow airport. Hours later White House spokesman Jay Carney spoke about the news in a press conference.

The United States is reconsidering a planned meeting between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin next month in Moscow before a G-20 gathering in St. Petersburg, he said. “We are evaluating the utility of a summit.”

In an interview with state-run Russia 24, Kucherena said that Russia “didn’t have a choice” in granting his client asylum.

“It was a humane decision because Edward couldn’t come and buy himself tickets to Havana or any other countries…

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