WASHINGTON -- Edward Snowden's global fight could have major diplomatic ramifications.
The Obama administration is asking Russia to turn over Snowden, who has been charged with espionage in connection with news leaks of National Security Agency surveillance programs -- the same request Obama's team made of China and Hong Kong, which still allowed Snowden to depart to Russia on Sunday.
In a statement on Russia issued early Monday, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden cited "our intensified cooperation after the Boston Marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters, including returning numerous high level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government."
Hayden added: "We expect the Russian Government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged."
Snowden is believed to still be in Russia; he reportedly planned to fly to Cuba, on Monday morning, but journalists aboard that flight said his seat was empty.
Still, few people know for sure where Snowden is. The Russian news agency Interfax, citing an unnamed source, reported Monday that Snowden "has most likely left Russia."
Secretary of State John Kerry, on a trip to India, told reporters it would be "deeply troubling" if Russia knew Snowden was entering the country and did nothing to detain him.
"I would urge them to live by the standards of the law," Kerry said.
Throughout the weekend, Obama administration officials suggested there would be diplomatic consequences for nations that protect Snowden.
"We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite the legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S.-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement," Hayden said.
She added: "We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China bilateral relations."
U.S. relations with Russia and China already have their fair share of tensions.
Increased American aid to rebels in Syria have drawn criticism from Russia President Vladimir Putin, who still backs Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
The Obama administration and China have also clashed over cybersecurity.
Former congresswoman Jane Harman, now head of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told USA TODAY that Snowden "is a pawn in a global power play. ... He's being used to embarrass us and to send messages to us."