The United States has reiterated its appeal to Moscow to expel fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden after he requested temporary asylum in Russia.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said on July 16 that Snowden "is not a human rights activist" and "not a dissident" seeking protection from political persecution.
Carney said Snowden should return to the United States to face trial on charges of stealing government property and leaking classified information.
Carney suggested it is Russian President Vladimir Putin who ultimately will make the decision on Snowden's fate in Russia.
"President Putin in the president of the country and we believe that the government obviously has role to play here as we made clear when we expressed our disappointment in the government's role in allowing for the press conference, if you will, with human rights organizations if only to make clear that the Russian government has an opportunity to work with us in the normal channels to expel Mr. Snowden," Carney told reporters.
Russia's Federal Migration Service says that an asylum request filed by Snowden on July 16 will be considered within three months.
Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who revealed secret U.S. surveillance programs, has lived in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23.
Washington has revoked his U.S. passport.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Interfax