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Russia not to extradite Edward Snowden to US: Presidential spokesman

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MOSCOW: Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden will not be extradited to the US, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding he’s sure the fugitive NSA contractor will stop harming Washington if granted asylum in Russia.

“Russia has never extradited anyone, and will not extradite,” said Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

President Putin is not handling the case of the former CIA employee Edward Snowden, as “Snowden has not made any request that is subject to consideration by the head of the state,” Peskov added.

The issue of Snowden asking for temporary asylum “was not and is not on Putin’s agenda,” Peskov continued, saying that it lies in the sphere of the countries’ security agencies.

The spokesman said that head of the Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Aleksandr Bortnikov and US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Chief Robert Muller are engaged in the discussion over Snowden.

Responding to the question of whether the former NSA contractor will continue harming the US by leaking classified materials while in Russia, and if the situation is going to undermine Moscow’s ties with Washington, Peskov stressed that “the head of state has expressed strong determination not to allow this,” referring to Putin’s earlier statements.

“I have no doubt that this will be the case, no matter how the situation develops,” the spokesman added.

The 30-year-old Snowden has been stripped of his US passport, and is wanted by the United States on espionage charges for carrying out one of the biggest security leaks in the American history.

The NSA leaker has been stuck in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport since his arrival from Hong Kong, and remains there while his asylum plea is being reviewed by Russian immigration authorities.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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