• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 10:45pm
Edward Snowden
NewsWorld

Russian lawmaker says 'morally' wrong to hand over Snowden

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 June, 2013, 6:29pm
UPDATED : Monday, 01 July, 2013, 11:13pm

A top Russian lawmaker on Sunday declared it was “morally impermissible” to hand over to the United States fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowdon, who remains in a political limbo at a Moscow airport.

Snowden, the 30-year-old former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), has been living in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport for over a week, unable to fly on with a revoked US passport or exit the airport without a Russian visa.

Snowden has requested asylum in Ecuador but is unable to get to its embassy in central Moscow.

Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee at the Duma lower house of parliament, said it would be wrong to give Snowden over to th United States where he is wanted for leaking classified information about covert US surveillance programmes.

“It’s not a matter of (Snowden’s) usefulness (to Russia) - it’s a matter of principle,” he wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Handing over a political refugee is morally impermissible.”

The Kremlin on Sunday played down the fact that Snowden is still living at the airport, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman telling the Echo of Moscow radio station that “this issue is not on the Kremlin’s agenda.”

“Since it’s not our issue, I don’t know what options there are for the situation’s development, nor what the legal or other aspects are in this,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Putin shockingly admitted on Tuesday that Snowden is staying in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport, and cannot be extradited to the US due to the lack of a bilateral extradition agreement. The Russian leader also advised Snowden to pick his destination soon.

The situation seems to be near a dead end as Ecuador has declared that it’s up to Moscow to resolve the dilemma over Snowden.

“To process the asylum application, (Snowden) must be in Ecuadoran territory,” President Rafael Correa said late Saturday. However, Snowden would need a visa from Russian authorities to get to Ecuador’s embassy in central Moscow.

“We cannot be on the sidelines, we should participate in his fate,” said another lawmaker Sunday, senator Valery Shnyakin, who is the deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in the Federation Council upper house of parliament.

“We should calculate the negative repercussions on our relations with the Americans,” he added in remarks posted on the ruling United Russia party website. “For that, we need some kind of negotiations and meetings.”

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HiggsSinglet
If Snowden is going to fly to Central and South America, he needs to find a routing that does not fly over US airspace, otherwise, US will scramble fighters to hijack the plane in the name of law and their national security. Wondering why no one is raising more stink about US hacking into others, including friendly nations. Obama says Snowden is only a 29 years old hacker, but he was hacking for the us government.
clc2
Hmm. It's “morally impermissible” to be a top Russian lawmaker.
the sun also rises
you are morally impermissible to utter such naive garbage here in this column which is polluted by your 'words' !
bolshoi
I wonder what the public opinion (media etc.) is like in Russia regarding the Snowden case... The report did not mention that. Personally I have deepest sympathy for Snowden as he is stuck in limbo in an airport transit zone. Be strong and be safe Mr Snowden!
daily
God, sometimes I really just hate the Americans and the Obama administration when I hear what Snowden is going through........may god bless him and keep him safe from the American devils............
bolshoi
I never did believe Obama was the president he said he would be. Now it looks like I was right about him. I will definitely think twice before re-visiting the so-called Land of Freedom regardless of who their president might be.
carmeledwin
The United States Government has proven time and time again that it should never be trusted. Which is why their foreign policy stank to high heaven, and so many people dislike the United States.
the sun also rises
of course it is totally morally wrong to hand over a political refugee to the country that guy came from for his return would be h.... to him,it is certain.Out of humanitarian reason,no country should hand Snowden back to Uncle Sam though they might be pressured not to accept him.Anyway, taking a shelter at an embassy in Moscow as a political asylum is never a bad idea.Dear Snowden,please seriously consider it as it will be much better than staying in the limbo transit zone of the airport which is used by tens of thousands of passengers every day and some might turn out to be FBIs or CIAs or even NSAs ---your former colleagues from Team X disguised as travellers to grab you back by force as you haven't been formally in the Russian territory !
the sun also rises
fully agree with lobojack that the safest place for our leaker-hero, Mr.Snowden, the so-called 29-year-old hacker, is Russia itself (which had publicly said that it would take him as a politcal refugee) or the embassies of other nations there.The embassy of Ecuador in Moscow is just 32 km from the airport where Snowden now stays at. I wonder why it is so difficult for him to approach it (with the protection provided by the Russian security men). Right ?
lobojack57@yahoo.fr
The only safe place for Snowden is Russia. And to a much lesser extent Cuba, unfortunately too close to U.S. shorelines. Ecuador and Venezula are not safe enough against ****s or kidnappers. And Iceland is too weak.

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