WASHINGTON – Russia's decision to grant temporary asylum to Edward Snowden has upset the Obama administration and enraged Congress.
But if the U.S. wasn't prepared to scrap its difficult relationship with Russia because of missile defense, human rights or Syria's civil war, it's unlikely the National Security Agency leaker alone will sour U.S.-Russia ties irrevocably.
The two powers have managed to move past their half-century Cold War for global supremacy.
After Snowden officially entered Russia on Thursday, the White House declared itself "extremely disappointed" and suggested President Barack Obama would reconsider an autumn summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
American lawmakers threatened worse. But all know retaliation against Russia has a cost. The U.S. needs Russia to fight terrorism, get supplies to troops in Afghanistan and prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.