The world views Russia as the ‘winner’ in the battle waged by the United States to extradite American whistleblower Edward Snowden to stand trial for leaking US spying programs, a Chinese daily says.
China’s English-language newspaper Global Times said in an editorial piece that “Moscow displayed its national characteristics of decisiveness and boldness” and has kept Washington “at bay,” Russia Today reported on Thursday.
The Chinese daily added that “Russia has impressed the world, which views the Kremlin as the ‘winner’ and the White House as the ‘loser,’” referring to Moscow’s decision to grant asylum to Snowden, the former technical contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA) on August 1.
“Washington ate the dirt this time,” the editorial read.
On August 1, the Guardian published an analysis where the Russian decision to give Snowden asylum was described as “a humiliating, wounding rebuff to the US.”
The UK daily also included in the analysis that “Snowden’s stay in Russia could be indefinite,” and that “Among other things, the Snowden story has exposed the impotence of 21st-century US power. With no US-Russia extradition treaty there is little the White House can do to winkle Snowden out.”
On August 7, US President Barack Obama canceled his face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently in retaliation for Moscow giving asylum to Snowden.
Putin’s top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said in reaction to US move that Russia is disappointed by Obama’s decision to call off the meeting, adding that Washington “as before, is not ready to build relations on an equal basis.”
Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs, under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are spying on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
On June 9, Snowden admitted his role in the leaks in a 12-minute video recorded interview published by the Guardian.
He left the US state of Hawaii for Hong Kong on May 20. However, on June 23, Snowden left Hong Kong a day after Washington sought to turn up the pressure on the territory to hand him over.
The US State Department has revoked Snowden’s passport.
At the time, South American leaders expressed support for the American whistleblower, with Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua offering him asylum.