Russian President Vladimir Putin stated publicly on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 that Edward Snowden was indeed present in Russia but that Russia would not be arresting him, nor would they detain him for extradition as per request of the United States.
Since Snowden’s initial leaks on the NSA’s Prism program and further information on the U.K.’s data mining programs, he has been a top priority for arrest by the U.S. government . The U.S. also accused both China and Russia for assisting Snowden and for ignoring the requests to have him extradited. Both nations have called the U.S. accusations baseless and insulting.
While on a recent trip to Finland and speaking openly at a press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the U.S. demands for extradition nothing more than “ravings and rubbish”. “I myself would prefer not to deal with these issues,” Putin said during a press conference. “It’s like giving a baby pig a haircut: there’s a lot of squealing, but there’s little wool.”
After a couple days of speculating where Snowden might be, Putin confirmed that the former NSA employee turned whistle blower was in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Putin said that authorities would not be holding him for any reason but did say that the sooner he left Russian soil, “the better it would be for us and for himself.”
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, had only harsh words for Russia for not holding Snowden for extradition, and while he has admitted there was no such extradition treaty with the country, that were still “standards of behavior between sovereign nations”.
Wiki leaks representatives have confirmed that their attorney’s were assisting Snowden, and that he applied for asylum in Ecuador since leaving Hong Kong and was accepted. Currently, he is traveling with a refugee document of passage as provided by the South American country of Ecuador.