US trapping Snowden in Russia: Putin

US trapping Snowden in Russia: Putin
Tue Jul 16, 2013 08:26:15

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of trapping US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden in Moscow, saying he would leave Russia as soon as possible.

"As soon as there's the chance to move somewhere he will certainly do this," Putin said in televised remarks on Monday.

"He arrived on our territory uninvited, he did not fly to us, he was flying in transit to other countries," Putin said.

"But as soon as he was in the air, it became known, and our American partners essentially blocked off his further flight."

Putin added that Snowden “is familiar with the conditions of granting political asylum, and judging by the latest statements, is shifting his position. The situation is not clear now."

"They scared other countries. No one wants to accept him,” he added.

When asked about what was next for Snowden, Putin replied: “How should I know? That’s his life, his fate.”

Putin also recalled that Snowden was initially offered an opportunity to apply for asylum in Russia, but only if he stops his “political activity.”

“There are certain relations between Russia and the United States, we would not like you to harm them with your activity,” Putin quoted Russian officials during their dialogue with Snowden.

“He said no...he said, ‘I want to continue my activity, fighting for human rights. I think the US is violating certain international regulations and intervening in private lives and my goal to fight this.'"

Putin added that Russia has no desire assist Snowden as long as he refuses to cease such activity.

Although Snowden said last Friday that he might apply for political asylum in Russia, no application has yet been received by the Russian government.

The US responded with accusations against Russia, claiming it was granting Snowden – who is wanted on espionage charges - a “propaganda platform.”

Earlier in June, Snowden leaked confidential information that showed the US National Security Agency (NSA) collects data of phone records and Internet communication of American citizens and European officials.


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