Putin on Fate of Snowden: 'How Should I Know?'
But he suggests NSA leaker might accept Moscow's rules
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2013 12:18 PM CDT
This image provided by Human Rights Watch shows Edward Snowden, center, attending a press conference at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks, left, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Human Rights Watch, Tanya Lokshina)

(Newser) – Edward Snowden will be leaving Russia ... just as soon as he can, Vladimir Putin said today. Russia will offer the NSA leaker political asylum only if he agrees to stop "harming" the US with his activities, and Putin discussed the possibility of Snowden agreeing to that condition today. Some of Putin's quotes from Russia Today, which are a bit unclear, to say the least:

  • "He 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."
  • Putin says Russian officials told Snowden, "There are certain relations between Russia and United States, (and) we would not like you to harm them with your activity." Putin continues: "He said no. You are laughing now, but I am serious. He said, 'I want to continue my activity, to fight for human rights and think that US is violating certain regulations, international, intervene in private life and my goal to fight this.'"

Reuters' take: Putin thinks Snowden is shifting toward agreeing to stop his "political activity" against the US. But Putin also said, "As soon as there is an opportunity for him to move elsewhere, I hope he will do that." One thing is clear: Putin has no idea what's next for Snowden. "How should I know? That's his life, his fate," Putin said when asked. Though Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have offered asylum to the leaker, Putin notes that the US has basically blocked Snowden's movements and "spooked all the other countries; nobody wants to take him," thus forcing him to remain in Russia.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Jul 15, 2013 5:30 PM CDT
Russia has outsmarted the U.S. because Obama and Eric Holder has shown very poor leadership.
Jul 15, 2013 5:28 PM CDT
Intend to sue Edward Snowden for not only for emotional distress- turning to all Kremlin Bandits , enemies of my, 60 years under KGB siege. I, Arthur D. Guziel am under constant attacks by KGB bandits -aggression into Santa Clarita Valley, CA, therefore Snowden is Traitor and war criminal ( aiding KGB bandits make him accessory to high crimes) GUZIEL VS SNOWDEN 1 trillion for KGB VIctims, as compensation. Guziel Legal Fund 19428 Sab Narino Ct, Newhall CA 91321 661 367 6806 save at inbox dot com
Jul 15, 2013 5:21 PM CDT
Hang him out to dry on his own and let him twitch in the wind, and regret what he's done...