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U.S. Senate advances law pressuring Russia not to give Snowden asylum

A U.S. Senate panel on Thursday approved an amendment to State Department funding bill aimed at pressuring Russia and other countries against giving asylum to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program leaker.

The amendment, authored by Senator Lindsey Graham, was adopted as a part of the funding bill for the State Department in 2014 by the Senate Appropriations Committee. It stipulates that if Snowden is granted asylum, the secretary of State must consult with Congress on possible sanctions, and will then go on to be voted by the whole Senate.

"The Committee notes that certain countries have offered asylum to Edward Snowden, an American citizen who divulged classified information to the press. The Committee directs the Secretary of State to consult with the appropriate congressional committees on sanction options against any country that provides asylum to Mr. Snowden, including revocation or suspension of trade privileges and preferences," states the amendment.

Snowden is at an airport in Moscow and is seeking documents to travel in Russia.

[Source: Xinhua, Washington, 25Jul13]

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Privacy and counterintelligence
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