It probably feels like a long summer for Edward Snowden, who has been stuck in a Moscow airport transit area for a full month. That could soon change, however.
There have been conflicting reports that Snowden received permission to leave the Moscow airport and enter Russia—which may signal a possible prelude to eventual political asylum. Yet as his saga continues, tensions between Russia and the U.S. are rising.
U.S. officials are now signaling that President Obama could cancel a planned summit meeting in Moscow in September because of the Snowden case, and some U.S. legislators, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are calling for the U.S. to boycott the 2014 Olympics in Sochi if Russia grants Snowden asylum.
Russian officials from the Interior Ministry and prosecutor general’s office also complained this week about the U.S. refusing to extradite individuals sought by Russia, and accused the U.S. of practicing a "double standard" in demanding Snowden's return. Kimberly Marten, professor of Political Science at Columbia University's Barnard College, explores the rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
Snowden's case has also caused some friction between the U.S. and another Cold War foe: China. Ambassador Stephen Young, outgoing American consul general in Hong Kong and Macau, says that Snowden's flight from Hong Kong demonstrated that "when China really wants something that has to do with Hong Kong, they probably have that trump card."