The Washington Times - August 1, 2013, 12:37PM

Sen. Bill Nelson said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is thumbing his nose at the U.S.” by granting asylum to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information on U.S. spying programs.

Mr. Nelson, a Florida Democrat and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the decision marks a setback for U.S.-Russia relations.


“Putin is thumbing his nose at the U.S. and there is a price to pay for that,” Mr. Nelson said in a statement.

Mr. Putin’s government ignored the pleas from U.S. officials by granting Mr. Snowden temporary asylum, allowing the 30-year-old to leave the airport transit zone where he has been holed up for more than a month.