Tensions are rising Tuesday as the search for National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden continues.
The Obama administration is increasing pressure on Russia to hand him over to U.S. officials. The effort to extradite him has already frayed ties between Washington and Beijing.
"This was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant, and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the U.S.-China relationship," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Now it's threatening ties with Russia as well. Russian authorities are continuing to ignore the requests of the United States to arrest Snowden.
"We expect the Russians to examine the options available to them to expel Mr. Snowden for his return to the United States," Carney said.
Snowden is believed to be hiding out in the Russian airport. He checked in Monday for his flight to Cuba, but his seat was empty the entire trip.
What is this international game of cat and mouse doing to America's image in the world? Dr. Paul Bonicelli, executive vice-president of Regent University and a former Bush administration official, addresses that question and more on CBN's Morning News, June 25.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went so far as to say Snowden never even crossed the border into Russia.
"We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violation of U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy, which on top of all that are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable," he said. "There are no legal grounds for such conduct of U.S. officials."
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is assisting Snowden in his efforts to evade U.S. capture. He told reporters over the phone that Snowden is healthy, safe, and in good hands.
"Edward Snowden is not a traitor," Assange said. "He is not a spy. He is a whistleblower who has told the public an important truth."
Assange said the government of Ecuador has provided Snowden with refugee travel documents. He's said to be making his way there for political asylum.
Meanwhile, U.S. frustration is growing, along with its concerns that the leaks have already dealt a major blow to national security.
Officials say there are signs that terrorist groups are finding ways to evade U.S. detection based on information released by the Snowden.