WASHINGTON — The Obama Russian Reset seems to have failed. Now, as the U.S. is trying to track down and apprehend the famous NSA surveillance leaker Edward Snowden, Russia is impeding American efforts.
Reuters reports that Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin, has “defied” pressure from the Obama administration to hand over Snowden. Snowden had fled from Hong Kong to Russia within the past several days and is expected to hide out in Russia, Ecuador or Cuba.
Snowden exposed NSA surveillance programs and has been labeled both a traitor and a hero by both conservatives, liberals, libertarians, Republicans and Democrats.
Putin has gone on record before saying that he would consider giving Snowden political asylum in Russia and a safe haven from U.S. authorities. Russia is a spotty choice for asylum for Snowden because of recent Russian actions to imprison an opposition leader on embezzlement charges and tightening government grip on media and party formation.
In other news, Putin has also stolen a Super Bowl ring from the New England Patriots NFL owner Bob Kraft.