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Putin Says Snowden Must Stop Leaks If He Wants to Stay in Russia

Putin Says Snowden Must Stop Leaks If He Wants to Stay in Russia

Because the last thing Putin would want is Snowden to leak more U.S. national security secrets.

Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin said the NSA leaker is not welcome unless he ceased his work “aimed at harming our American partners.”

From Reuters:

For the second time in a week, Putin said Russian intelligence agencies were not working with the 30-year-old American who fled his country and leaked details of secret U.S. government surveillance programs.

“If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my lips,” he told reporters after a gas exporters’ conference in Moscow.

But Putin said he suspected that Snowden would not stop leaking information, because “he feels himself to be a human rights activist”.

“So he must choose a country of destination and go there,” he said, speaking before the asylum request to Russia was reported. “Unfortunately, I don’t know when this will happen.”

A Russian consular official confirmed to the Interfax news agency that Snowden has in fact applied for asylum in Russia.  Reuters is reporting that “Wikileaks activist Sarah Harrison, who is travelling with Snowden, handed his application to a Russian consular official in the transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport late on Sunday.”

Snowden has reportedly also appealed to more than a dozen other countries for political asylum as well.  It appears that Russia has no intention of handing Snowden over to the US, according to a LA Times report.

Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked U.S. security secrets, met Monday morning with Russian consular service officials and handed them an appeal to 15 countries for political asylum, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official didn’t name the countries, but said that Russia was among them.

[…]

The United States has a warrant for Snowden’s arrest and has asked that Russia return him, despite the fact that the two countries do not have an extradition treaty. Putin dismissed the notion, while noting that Russia does engage in spy swaps.

“Russia never hands anybody over anywhere and doesn’t intend to do so,” the Russian leader said. “At best, we exchanged our Foreign Intelligence Service agents for those who were detained and arrested and convicted in a Russian Federation court.”

Putin stressed that Snowden is not a Russian agent and that he is not cooperating with Russian special services. “I am telling you responsibly he is not cooperating with us today, either.”

Snowden has also sought asylum in Ecuador, but the country’s president has said it cannot consider the request unless the former NSA contractor reaches Ecuador or one of its embassies.  That’s unlikely to happen without assistance from Russia, since Snowden’s US passport has been revoked.  Vice President Joe Biden meanwhile has spoken with Ecuador’s president and asked him to reject Snowden’s asylum request.

While visiting a health clinic in Livingstone, Zambia, former president George W. Bush also spoke publicly about Snowden and the NSA ordeal.

Bush told CNN’s Robyn Curnow that he believes Snowden “has damaged the security of the country.”  He also responded to questions about the NSA surveillance program.

From CNN:

“I think there needs to be a balance, and as the president explained, there is a proper balance,” Bush said.

Asked about an NSA program that tracks people’s Internet activity, Bush said, “I put that program in place to protect the country. One of the certainties was that civil liberties were guaranteed.”

Bush refrained from criticizing Obama, telling CNN, “I don’t think it does any good…It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine.”

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Comments

Calypso Facto | July 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm

“Bush refrained from criticizing Obama, telling CNN, “I don’t think it does any good…It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine.””

What a class act. Noting the unfavorable comparison to both his predecessor and successor actually pains me.

Will he have to learn Russian, pay all back taxes, and get in the back of the line?

stevewhitemd | July 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Of course Putin wants the skinny little creep to stop leaking US national security interests.

Now that the KGB (or whatever initials they use these days) have the laptops and have the chance to pick the SLC’s brain, they don’t want us to know what they know.

Putin is transparent. It’s humorous that Champ and the MSM can’t figure him out.

As long as PRISM is in place, there are no guarantees of civil liberties. It is an existential threat to every American. PRISIM and its components must be destroyed. With the information on those Laptops, he can probably kill the NSA. And i think that’s exactly what he has set out to do. Listen to him. “only policy protects us”. If PRISM can no longer be used to track our enemies, then they will no longer to be able to justify it existence. They’ll have to dismantle it. That’s the end game. that’s why they are so desperate.

Spiny Norman | July 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm

So what happened to asylum in Ecuador?

Henry Hawkins | July 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm

There was a problem in translation. What Putin said was, “Snowden must not release any more of our recently acquired assets.”

I have a question for Andrew (or anyone else in this Forum who knows the answer) … media is still repeating that “the dispatcher told Z to not follow M and to stay in his truck.” I saw an article on this somewhere that I can’t find that Z replied “OK” to the dispatcher and was returning to his truck when Martin accosted him. Andrew do you know if this is true (or did anyone else see this)? If so, the media, INCLUDING BILL O’REILLY, needs to stop saying this!

Sorry, my previous post is in the wrong thread … must have hit the wrong button.

“Putin said the NSA leaker is not welcome unless he ceased his work ‘aimed at harming our American partners.'”

It’s tempting, isn’t it, to smile at a really ruthless man seemingly rubbing America’s face in the dirt?

But I actually think Putin is being honest. Obama really is Mr. Putin’s “partner”, or perhaps a better word would be “ally”.

If Mr. Putin comes to believe that returning Snowden will increase Obama’s power, I expect that Snowden will quickly be returned to the new socialist states of America.

[…] has since withdrawn his asylum request with Russia after President Vladimir Putin said Snowden could stay only if he ceased his work “aimed at harming our American […]

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