“The Russian government has an opportunity here to work with us,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing. “This should not be something that causes long-term problems for U.S.-Russian relations.”

Washington and Moscow have been “engaging on a number of important issues, both economic and security related issues, and we want to continue that relationship unimpeded by this issue,” Carney added. By turning over Snowden, or at least expelling him, Russia could “resolve this situation that they have been dealing with now for three weeks.”

Could the dispute over Snowden lead Obama to cancel his planned attendance at the Group of 20 summit in Russia? Carney did not close out that possibility. “The president intends to travel to Russia in September for the G20 summit. And I don’t have any further announcements.”