Aug. 2 -Russians relaxed about giving asylum to U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden which sparks anger in the U.S. and raises specter of diplomatic retaliation from Washington. Tom Dinham reports.
Some Moscow residents approved of Russia's decision to grant asylum to American fugitive Edward Snowden saying it showed Russia makes its own decisions. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT YEKATERINA, SAYING: "Why Russia did this - I think they want to tell the Americans once again: guys, we do not have to adjust to your rules all the time, we are an independent great country and we have the right to make the decisions which are beneficial to us." Russia granted the former spy agency contractor asylum for one year on Thursday when he was allowed to slip out of the Moscow airport where he had been holed up for over a month (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT ANASTASIA, SAYING: "I have nothing against Edward Snowden in Russia. If I was in his place, I would write a Sheremetyevo airport guidebook." Snowden, who had his U.S. passport revoked by Washington, had bided his time in the transit area between the runway and passport control, which Russia considers neutral territory. U.S.-Russian relations were strained by the move, with several high-level U.S.-Russian talks being put in doubt. Prominent U.S. lawmakers - including Republicans and Democrats - condemned Russia's action and urged Obama to take stern retaliatory steps.