“There is one condition if he wants to remain here: he must stop his work aimed at damaging our American partners. As odd as it may sound from me,” Putin told a media conference in Moscow.
In Putin’s opinion, Snowden considers himself “a fighter for human rights” and it seems unlikely that he is going to stop leaking American secret data.There is no information whether Putin's statement is related to the earlier news that Snowden met this morning with Russian diplomatic officials and handed them an appeal to 15 countries (including Russia) for political asylum.
However, Russia is not going to extradite Snowden, the president underlined.
“Russia has never extradited anyone and is not going to do so. Same as no one has ever been extradited to Russia,” Putin stated.
“At best,” he noted, Russia exchanged its foreign intelligence employees detained abroad for “those who were detained, arrested and sentenced by a court in the Russian Federation.”
Snowden "is not a Russian agent", the president said, repeating that Russian intelligence services were not working with the fugitive American.
He said Snowden should choose his final destination and go there. Putin added that he has no idea when that is going to happen.
“If I knew, I would tell you now,” he told the media conference after the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries.
“It was a desperate measure on his part after Ecuador disavowed his political protection credentials,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.