President Barack Obama said on Thursday (June 27) he had not yet spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin about the U.S. request to extradite former American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.
"We have issued throughout the justice department very clear requests to both initially Hong Kong and then Russia that we seek the extradition of Mr. Snowden and we are going through the regular legal channels that are involved when we try to extradite somebody. I have not called President Xi personally or President Putin personally and the reason is because.. number one, I shouldn't have to. This is something that is routinely dealt with between law enforcement officials in various countries and this is not exceptional from a legal perspective and number two, we've got a whole lot of business that we do with China and Russia, and I'm not going to have one case of a suspect who we're trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I've got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues simply to get a guy extradited so that he can face the justice system here in the United States," he said.
"And my continued expectation is that Russia or other countries that have talked about potentially providing Mr. Snowden asylum recognize that they are part of an international community and should be abiding by international law and we'll continue to press them as hard as we can to make sure they do so but let me, one last thing because you asked a question, No I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker," he added.