Senate pushes sanctions on nations aiding Snowden

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By BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is advancing sanctions against Russia or any other country offering asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

The measure introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina demands the State Department coordinate with lawmakers on setting penalties against nations that seek to help Snowden avoid extradition to the United States.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered Snowden asylum since he revealed details of the U.S. government's massive surveillance program. He has been stuck in Moscow's airport but may soon be allowed to leave. He has yet to gain asylum in Russia.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Graham's measure unanimously by voice vote Thursday after it was included as an amendment to next year's foreign operations bill.

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