News / Europe

Russia Increasingly Impatient Over Snowden's Airport Stay

FILE - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in New York, January 16, 2010.FILE - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in New York, January 16, 2010.
x
FILE - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in New York, January 16, 2010.
FILE - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in New York, January 16, 2010.
Reuters
Edward Snowden should find another country to seek refuge, a Russian official said on Thursday, signaling Moscow's growing impatience over the former U.S. agency spy contractor's lengthening stay at a Moscow airport.
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia had received no request for political asylum from Snowden and he had to solve his problems himself after 11 days in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
 
President Vladimir Putin has refused to extradite the American and Russian officials have delighted in his success in staying out of the United States' clutches since revealing details of secret U.S. government surveillance programs.
 
But Moscow has also made clear that Snowden is an increasingly unwelcome guest because the longer he stays, the greater the risk of the diplomatic standoff over his fate causing lasting damage to relations with Washington.
 
“He needs to choose a place to go,” Ryabkov told Reuters. “As of this moment, we do not have a formal application from Mr. Snowden asking for asylum in the Russian Federation.”
 
Ryabkov told Itar-Tass news agency separately that Russia “cannot solve anything for him” and the situation should now be resolved “one way or the other”.
 
His remarks echoed comments by President Vladimir Putin, who has urged Snowden, 30, to leave as soon as he can.
 
France and Italy, both U.S. allies, said they had rejected asylum requests from Snowden.
 
“Like many countries France has received, via its ambassador in Moscow, an asylum request from Edward Snowden. For legal reasons and given the applicant's situation, it will not be processed,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.
 
Valls said earlier on Thursday that France's relations with the United States would not allow it to harbor Snowden.
 
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said any asylum request would have to be presented in person at the border or in Italian territory which Snowden had not done.
 
“As a result there do not exist the legal conditions to accept such a request, which in the government's view would not be acceptable on a political level either,” she told parliament.
 
Relations between Snowden and the Russian authorities appear to have soured when Putin said on Monday that he could only be granted asylum by Moscow if he agreed to stop actions that could harm the United States.
 
Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said on Tuesday that Snowden had withdrawn his interest in asylum in Russia after Putin spelled out the terms. His options have narrowed further since then as no country has agreed to grant him asylum.
 
Keeping relations on an even keel
 
Russian officials have kept Snowden at arm's length since he landed from Hong Kong on June 23, saying the transit area where passengers stay between flights is neutral territory and he will be on Russian soil only if he goes through passport control.
 
Moscow has also done nothing to trumpet his presence or parade him before cameras and Putin has avoided the temptation to mock Obama when asked about the affair in public. He said last week he would prefer not to deal with it at all.
 
Relations with Washington have been strained since Putin's return to the presidency last year. He has accused the United States of backing protesters demanding his removal and Washington is worried that he is cracking down on dissent.
 
But there have been signs of an improvement as the sides try to cooperate more on security since the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, in which two ethnic Chechens are the main suspects. The United States has also shown some restraint in its remarks.
 
“We continue to talk with the Russian government every day [about Snowden], absolutely every day, including myself,” U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul told reporters. “We hope to resolve this ... in a way that we want to have it ended and so far we're very happy with our interactions with the Russian government.”
 
Russia's Interfax news agency underlined Washington's own determination to keep ties on an even keel, quoting an unnamed source as saying Snowden's case had not been raised by U.S. Justice Department officials at recent talks in Moscow.
 
Russia has, however, reveled in the diplomatic fallout since Bolivian President Evo Morales, a Putin ally, was held up on his way home from an energy meeting in Moscow because a number of European countries refused initially to let his plane into their airspace over suspicions that Snowden was on board.
 
Bolivia blamed the delays on Washington and the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized three European Union member states.
 
“The actions of the authorities of France, Spain and Portugal could hardly be considered friendly actions towards Bolivia,” it said. “Russia calls on the international community to comply strictly with international legal principles.”

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid