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Senators urge Obama to change location of G20 summit to press Putin

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Two American lawmakers have urged President Barack Obama to suggest an alternate location for the G20 summit to press Russian President Vladimir Putin to extradite US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The upcoming summit is scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia in September.

In a resolution introduced on Friday, Senators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Schumer said Russia is damaging its relationship with the United States.

The senators also called on Moscow to immediately hand over Snowden to American officials. The leaker, who applied for a temporary asylum in Russia, is charged with espionage in the United States for disclosing US government spying programs.

Graham said for Russia to grant temporary asylum to Snowden “do serious damage to our relationship. It is past time we send a strong message to President Putin about Russia’s actions and this resolution will help accomplish that goal.”

Senator Schumer also said President Putin “is too eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States.”

“Enough is enough. It’s time to send a crystal clear message to President Putin about Russia’s deplorable behavior, and this resolution will do just that,” he said.

On June 17, the White House announced that Obama would attend the G20 summit in Russia. However, The US is considering not attending the summit after the Kremlin refused to extradite Snowden, who fled to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23.

The Obama administration has repeatedly warned Russia about consequences of refusal to send back Snowden to the United States.

Earlier this week, the Russian president said the United States has trapped Snowden in Moscow by frightening other countries that might have accepted his asylum request.

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