Edward Snowden
The letters "NSA" for National Security Agency and a mask of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden are taped on a fence

Two US senators urged US President Barack Obama to try and move G20 talks away from Russia in a bid to try and drive out former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden from the country.

Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Charles Schumer suggested the US consider a different location for the September G20 summit scheduled to be held in St Petersburg, if Russia does not hand over Snowden and that the government should consider all economic and diplomatic options.

They urged Moscow to hand over Snowden, a former technical contractor for the NSA who had leaked details of several top-secret US and British government mass surveillance programmes to the press.

They also wanted Washington to take action if Russia refuses to do so.

Graham had already suggested the US consider boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The suggestion was turned down by the US Olympic Committee.

While the resolution presented on Friday does not mention the Olympics, it does say that the US should consider a change of location for the G20 summit, a meeting of major economies to discuss the most important international economic and financial issues.

Crackdown on International Tax Avoidance

The eighth summit is scheduled to be held on 5-6 September after Russia assumed the G20 presidency for the first time on 1 December, 2012.

Ahead of the summit, a meeting by finance ministers from the G20 group of leading nations officially backed plans to tackle international tax avoidance and evasion.

The group plans to enact automatic exchange of tax information between countries. It also backed plans by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to stop firms moving their profits across borders to avoid taxes.

"National tax laws have not kept pace with the globalisation of corporations and the digital economy, leaving gaps that can be exploited by multinational corporations to artificially reduce their taxes," the OECD said while announcing the new tax plan.

No or low tax payments by global firms such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks raised public anger in the UK and the government vowed to take rigorous steps to tackle the issue, amid low growth and widespread austerity measures.

Growth over Austerity

G20 finance ministers and central bankers pledged to put growth before austerity in order to revive the weak global economy.

The policymakers had soft-pedalled on goals to cut government debt in favour of a focus on growth. They also sought ways to exit central bank stimulus with minimum negative impact.

Earlier, the US Federal Reserve noted it could begin cutting its stimulus programme which injects $85bn (£56bn, €65bn) into the economy via bond purchases, later this year and end the programme by mid-2014. The announcement caused panic among emerging nations.

"The best case scenario for today would be for the advanced economies to get growth going. They must keep in mind the impact of their actions on the large emerging economies," said Indian finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram.

The shift from austerity cuts to growth is expected to stimulate the global job market, which is at the centre of the summit's agenda. In weaker eurozone economies such as Greece and Spain, youth unemployment rates have escalated and touched about 60%.

The group will prepare an action plan to boost jobs and growth, while rebalancing global demand and debt for the summit in September, according to a final draft of the meeting's agreement, obtained by Reuters.