Former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden spent a fourth day out of public sight at a Moscow airport Wednesday, as U.S. officials continued to pressure Russia to extradite him.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday confirmed that Snowden is in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport, but said he had no intention of handing him over to Washington.
Speaking during a visit to Finland, Putin dismissed allegations Russia is breaking the law in the case as "nonsense and rubbish.'' He said Russia does not have an extradition agreement with the United States.
Edward Snowden during an interview with The Guardian newspaper at an undisclosed location in Hong Kong, June 6, 2013.
Snowden is wanted by the United States for revealing a pair of top secret U.S. surveillance programs and other confidential intelligence, but Putin says he has not broken any laws in Russia. He said Snowden is a free man and the sooner he chooses a final destination the better.
He also said Snowden has never worked with Russian security agencies. Putin said he hopes the affair will not affect relations with Washington.
Earlier Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is not looking for a confrontation and called for "calm and reasonableness" in the Snowden situation.
Edward Snowden's trail
Snowden flew Sunday to Moscow from Hong Kong, where he had been in hiding. His travel plans are unknown after he failed to show up for a flight he was expected to take from Moscow to Havana, reportedly on his way to seek asylum in Ecuador.
Ecuador's foreign minister says Snowden has asked for asylum in his country and his government has been in contact with Moscow.