Putin: Snowden Can Stay If...

...he stops 'harming our US partners'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2013 10:29 AM CDT
Vladimir Putin speaks to the media following a meeting with the Finland's President Sauli Niinisto at the presidential summer residence Kultaranta in Naantali, Finland, June 25, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Kimmo Mantyla)

(Newser) – Forget Ecuador; Vladimir Putin says Edward Snowden can stay in Russia if he's so inclined—on one condition. "If he wants to remain here he must stop his work aimed at damaging our American partners," he said at a news conference, according to RT. "As odd as it may sound from me." Putin added that Snowden "is not a Russian agent," and not working with Russian intelligence.

Snowden's plan to go to Ecuador is looking shakier every day, the Wall Street Journal reports, with Ecuador President Rafael Correa saying yesterday that Snowden was "not in our hands," and that it was up to Russia whether to allow him to travel to the Ecuadorean embassy in Moscow to seek asylum. But Putin doesn't seem too inclined to stop Snowden; he said today that Snowden should choose and travel to his ultimate home soon. (Read more Edward Snowden stories.)

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