News / Europe

Putin: Snowden in Transit Zone and Will Not Be Extradited

Putin: Snowden Will Not Be Extraditedi
June 27, 2013 10:14 AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin says former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is in the international transit zone of the Moscow airport and will not be extradited to the United States. Mr. Putin dismissed allegations by the U.S. that Russia is breaking the law as "sheer nonsense". Mike Richman reports.
Putin: Snowden Will Not Be Extradited
VOA News
Russian President Vladimir Putin says former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is in the transit zone of a Moscow airport, but will not be extradited to the United States.

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.

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.  

Snowden flew Sunday to Moscow from Hong Kong, where he had been in hiding.

Ecuador's foreign minister says Snowden has asked for asylum in his country and his government has been in contact with Moscow.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied Russian involvement in Snowden's plans.

"He independently chose his route, and we learned as did everyone else from the mass media," he said.  "He did not cross the Russian border, and we think all of the attempts that were are now witnessing, attempts to accuse the Russian side of violating U.S. law and almost conspiring, accompanied by threats towards us are totally unfounded and unacceptable."

On Monday the White House blasted Beijing for "deliberately" allowing Snowden to leave Hong Kong, despite a valid warrant for his arrest.  It said the move "unquestionably" damaged U.S.-China relations.

Beijing Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying denied the U.S. accusations.

"U.S. allegations against China are baseless," said Hua.  "China's position over bilateral relations is clear.  It is to the interest of both parties to preserve and strengthen dialogue and cooperation, control disputes and friction, work to bring more progress."

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Comment Sorting
by: Abraham Yeshuratnam from: India
July 01, 2013 1:22 PM
It is not a sudden decision of Putin. Putin deliberately made the world guess about the final destination of Snowden, although it was his plan when Snowden left Hong Kong. Putin,being a former KGB chief, arranged Snowden's transit after discussing the matter with Beijing. Putin knew that Cuba or Ecuador or Venezuela could not give sufficient protection to Snowden. There may be SEAL or commando operation and these countries would be as helpless as Pakistan. Russia will be an ideal place for Snowden, He will be treated with royal honor and will be allowed to enjoy all comforts and luxury in Moscow as the British spy Kim Philby enjoyed when he defected to Russia.

by: oldlalmb from: China
June 26, 2013 1:43 AM
I also cite a simple example:A,B,C are three persons.B saw A was stelling and undermining C’s property.Because of the conscience,B told C what A was doing.A was angry and urged C arrest B,and present B to A. The questions:Should C thank B? Or should C arrest B and present B to A?What was God’s justice?

by: Oberserver from: Southeastasia
June 26, 2013 12:53 AM
It is always wise to know who we are dealing with at the first place in this world. When we are dealing with a "tiger", don't pretend we are just dealing with a "cat". When dealing with a "bear" or a "snake", different strategies must be employed, or else... Obama and the US now seem unaware of these REALITIES. Hence, the US no longer commands respect in this age. Pity!

by: Mike
June 25, 2013 3:38 PM
Putin is a liar. He said that Russian security agencies "didn't work and aren't working" with Mr Snowden. Only small children to believe in it. In addition, Putin is demagogue. He said that Snowden's nothing to be punished because he is just an informant. However, in Russia Putin all its defectors, who worked in the Russian intelligence and switched to the West, called traitors, not informants. For example, a KGB officer Oleg Kalugin, defected to the United States was convicted and sentenced to death.

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