News / Europe

Putin: Snowden Can Stay in Russia if He Stops Leaks

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference, part of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), at the Kremlin in Moscow, July 1, 2013.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference, part of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), at the Kremlin in Moscow, July 1, 2013.
VOA News
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country has never extradited anyone before and that U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden could remain in Moscow if he stopped issuing leaks.

Putin said Monday that if Snowden wants to stay in Russia he "must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners - no matter how strange this may sound coming from me."

The Russian president said the former U.S. spy agency contractor "is not a Russian agent," repeating that Russian intelligence services were not working with Snowden, who is believed to remain in the transit area at Moscow's international airport eight days after arriving from Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama played down a related controversy over whether Washington had spied on its European allies, saying all intelligence services around the world seek to understand what other nations are thinking.

Speaking in Tanzania, Obama said the United States is still evaluating reports in the German weekly Der Spiegel about the surveillance program and would contact its European counterparts to provide all the information they are requesting.

Several European leaders, including French President Francois Hollande and EU Parliament President Martin Schulz, have strongly criticized allegations the U.S. National Security Agency bugged European Union offices and gained access to its internal computer networks.

The allegations have led some in Europe to call for a suspension of talks on a trans-Atlantic trade agreement.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday mutual trust must be restored following the allegations that appeared Saturday in Der Spiegel.

The magazine said the NSA placed listening devices in EU offices in Washington, Brussels and the United Nations in New York, and infiltrated EU computers to monitor telephone conversations, emails and other documents. It quoted secret U.S. documents leaked by Snowden, a former NSA contractor.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday it is "not unusual" for lots of nations to engage in efforts to protect their security.

"I will say that every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs of national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security and all kinds of information contributes to that," he said.

Snowden fled the U.S. to Hong Kong in May and then disclosed key documents about the surveillance programs being conducted by the National Security Agency to thwart terrorism.  He is believed to be seeking asylum in Ecuador.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Sunday that Snowden's fate is in the hands of Russian authorities because he cannot leave the airport without a valid passport.  He said his government cannot begin considering asylum for Snowden until he reaches Ecuador or an Ecuadorian embassy.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
July 02, 2013 6:56 AM
Ha! Putin says... What he says is pure lie as ever.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs