OTTAWA - Canada has added its voice to those criticizing Russia for granting asylum to U.S. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

"This is not something that Canada would have considered to do," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told The Canadian Press in an exclusive interview.

"It is an example where it does show Russia is a bit of an outlier in the G8."

Baird's comments were the first from the Canadian government following the Kremlin's decision to allow Snowden to leave the transit zone in the Moscow airport where he has been living since late June.

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Snowden asylum for one year on the condition that he stop leaking information about the U.S. The White House said it was "extremely disappointed" by the decision not to turn him over to U.S., which wants to prosecute him for espionage.

Baird's remarks also echoed the criticism that Prime Minister Stephen Harper levelled at Putin prior to the most recent G8 summit in June in Northern Ireland.

Harper characterized the Russian leader as the outlier of the G8.

"This is G7 plus one. OK, let's be blunt. That's what this is, G7 plus one," the prime minister said at the time.

Harper was referring to Putin's continuing support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a position that the rest of the G8 does not endorse.

Putin's apparent defiance of the U.S. in the Snowden case comes after his support of Syria has become a serious irritant in Russia's relations with the West.

Baird declined to elaborate further on the Snowden matter.

He has blasted Russia for its controversial new anti-gay law, calling it hateful and saying it could incite violence.

Baird also revealed that Russia once again found itself standing alone in the G8 when the issue of sexual minorities was raised at the previous summit in May 2012. Russia said it wouldn't agree to a statement that expressed support for the group.

"All G7 countries supported and that included centre-right governments in Germany, in France, in Canada, the United Kingdom," Baird said.

The Snowden affair and Russia's controversial law, which imposes heavy fines for spreading information about gay choices to minors, as well as banning gay pride rallies, appears to be casting a pall over next month's G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The White House said it was reassessing whether President Barack Obama would go through with plans for a pre-G20 tete-a-tete with Putin.

A spokeswoman for Harper says Canada does not shy away from raising human-rights issues in its dealings with Russia.

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  • In this photo taken on Saturday, July 20, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a big pike he caught while fishing during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), Russia. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, July 20, 2013, Russian President Vladimir fishes during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, July 20, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin shows a big pike he caught while fishing during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), Russia. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, July 20, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a big pike he caught while fishing during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, July 20, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin shows a big pike he caught while fishing during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), Russia. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, July 20, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a big pike he caught while fishing during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

  • This picture made available on July 26, 2013 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) inspecting a pike fish he caught in the Tyva region on July 20, 2013 during his vacation. (ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • This picture made available on July 26, 2013 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a huge pike fish, after he caught it in the Tyva region on July 20, 2013 during his vacation. (ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Next: Putin's Most Commanding Characters

  • The Hunter

    Russian Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin shoots with a rifle during the the para-Olympic biathlon championship of Russia in the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort near the sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia, Friday, March, 9, 2012. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Goverment Press Service)

  • The Pilot

    A picture taken on August 16, 2005, shows Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s President, sitting in the cockpit of Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber jet at a military airport, outside Moscow, before his supersonic flight in the cruise-missile carrying bomber jet. (VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Horse Whisperer

    In this Sept. 2010, photo released on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pats a horse during his trip in Ubsunur Hollow in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), on the border with Mongolia, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

  • The Hockey Star

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin takes part in a training of ice hockey players of the USSR Hockey Legends club at the Megasport Arena in Moscow, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)

  • The Bird Man

    Russian President Vladimir Putin flies in a motorized hang glider alongside two Siberian white cranes, on the Yamal Peninsula, in Russia Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)

  • The Diver

    In his wetsuit, Putin embarks on a dive to an underwater archaeological site at Phanagoria on the Taman Peninsula on Aug. 10, 2011. (Alexey Druzhinin / AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Siberian Explorer

    In this Sept. 2010 photo released on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse during his trip in Ubsunur Hollow in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), on the border with Mongolia, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

  • The Fisherman

    In this Sept. 2010 photo released on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a fish during his trip in Ubsunur Hollow in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), on the border with Mongolia, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

  • The Navigator

    In this Sept. 2010, photo released on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin carries a hunting rifle during his trip in Ubsunur Hollow in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), on the border with Mongolia, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, POOL, file)

  • The Construction Worker

    Russian Prime minister Vladimir Putin gestures as he visits the Solitaire ship in Finnish gulf, 200 km. (125 miles) west of St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, pool)

  • The Whale Hunter

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a crossbow as he sits on a rubber boat at the Olga Harbor of Kamchatka Peninsula during a scientific expedition, to study gray whales on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

  • The Biker

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrives for the meeting with motorbikers at their camp at Gasfort Lake near Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, Saturday, July 24, 2010. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

  • The Farmer

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feeds elk calves while visiting the Losiny Ostrov national park in Moscow, Saturday, June 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

  • The Doctor

    Russian Health Minister Tatyana Golikova, Kemerovo Gov. Aman Tuleyev, an unidentified doctor and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, from left, visit wounded miners at a hospital of Novokuznetsk in the west Siberian region of Kemerovo, Tuesday, May 11, 2010. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nokolsky, pool)

  • The Polar Bear Subduer/Scientist

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, fixes a radio beacon on a neck of a polar bear, which was anaesthetized, during a visit to a research institute at the Franz Josef Land archipelago in the Arctic Ocean on Thursday, April 29, 2010.(AP Photo/RIA Novosti, pool)

  • The Judo Fighter

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a judo training session at the Top Athletic School during his working visit to St Petersburg, on December 18, 2009 (Alexei Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Centaur

    Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse in southern Siberia's Tuva region, on August 3, 2009. (Reuters/RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin)

  • The Politician

    In this Sunday, March 26, 2000, file photo, then acting Russian President and Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin talks with representatives of the news media at a polling station in Moscow. (AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko, file)