The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Nation & World

June 25, 2013

Russia rejects US demand for Snowden's extradition

MOSCOW —  Russia's foreign minister bluntly rejected U.S. demands to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, saying Tuesday that Snowden hasn't crossed the Russian border.

Sergey Lavrov insisted that Russia has nothing to do with Snowden or his travel plans. Lavrov wouldn't say where Snowden is, but he lashed out angrily at Washington for demanding his extradition and warning of negative consequences if Moscow fails to comply. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Moscow to "do the right thing" and turn over Snowden.

"We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violation of U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy, which on top of all that are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable," Lavrov said. "There are no legal grounds for such conduct of U.S. officials."

The defiant tone underlined the Kremlin's readiness to challenge Washington at a time when U.S.-Russian relations are strained over Syria and a Russian ban on adoptions by Americans.

U.S. and Ecuadorean officials said they believed Snowden was still in Russia. He fled there Sunday from Hong Kong, where he had been hiding out since his disclosure of the broad scope of two highly classified U.S. counterterror surveillance programs. The programs collect vast amounts of Americans' phone records and worldwide online data in the name of national security.

Lavrov claimed that the Russian government found out about Snowden's flight from Hong Kong only from news reports.

"We have no relation to Mr. Snowden, his relations with American justice or his travels around the world," Lavrov said. "He chooses his route himself, and we have learned about it from the media."

Snowden booked a seat on a Havana-bound flight from Moscow on Monday en route to Venezuela and then possible asylum in Ecuador, but he didn't board the plane. Russian news media have reported that he has remained in a transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, but journalists there haven't seen him.

A representative of WikiLeaks has been traveling with Snowden, and the organization is believed to be assisting him in arranging asylum. The organization's founder, Julian Assange, said Monday that Snowden was only passing through Russia and had applied for asylum in Ecuador, Iceland and possibly other countries.

A high-ranking Ecuadorean official told The Associated Press that Russia and Ecuador were discussing where Snowden could go, saying the process could take days. He also said Ecuador's ambassador to Moscow had not seen or spoken to Snowden. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, hailed Snowden on Monday as "a man attempting to bring light and transparency to facts that affect everyone's fundamental liberties."

He described the decision on whether to grant Snowden asylum as a choice between "betraying the citizens of the world or betraying certain powerful elites in a specific country."

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. had made demands to "a series of governments," including Ecuador, that Snowden be barred from any international travel other than to be returned to the U.S. The U.S. has revoked Snowden's passport.

"We're following all the appropriate legal channels and working with various other countries to make sure that the rule of law is observed," President Barack Obama told reporters.

Some experts said it was likely that Russian spy agencies were questioning Snowden on what he knows about U.S. electronic espionage against Moscow.

"If Russian special services hadn't shown interest in Snowden, they would have been utterly unprofessional," Igor Korotchenko, a former colonel in Russia's top military command turned security analyst, said on state Rossiya 24 television.

The Kremlin has previously said Russia would be ready to consider Snowden's request for asylum.

The Interfax news agency, which has close contacts with Russian security agencies, quoted an unidentified "well-informed source" in Moscow as saying Tuesday that Snowden could be detained for a check of his papers. The report could reflect that authorities are searching for a pretext to keep Snowden in Russia.

Snowden is a former CIA employee who later was hired as a contractor for the NSA. In that job, he gained access to documents that he gave to newspapers The Guardian and The Washington Post to expose what he contends are privacy violations by an authoritarian government.

Snowden also told the South China Morning Post newspaper in Hong Kong that "the NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cellphone companies to steal all of your SMS data." He is believed to have more than 200 additional sensitive documents in laptops he is carrying.

Some observers said in addition to the sensitive data, Snowden's revelations have provided the Kremlin with propaganda arguments to counter the U.S. criticism of Russia's crackdown on opposition and civil activists under President Vladimir Putin.

"They would use Snowden to demonstrate that the U.S. government doesn't sympathize with the ideals of freedom of information, conceals key information from the public and stands ready to open criminal proceedings against those who oppose it," Konstantin Remchukov, the editor of independent daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta, said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

Putin has accused the U.S. State Department of instigating protests in Moscow against his re-election for a third term and has taken an anti-American posture that plays well with his core support base of industrial workers and state employees.

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • Holder bringing personal perspective to Ferguson

     Eric Holder talks about the nation's civil rights struggles in a way no previous U.S. attorney general could — by telling his own family story.

    August 20, 2014

  • Senate control could rest with well-funded women

    Control of the Senate could lie in the fortunes of female candidates and the deep-pocketed donors, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who are sending piles of cash their way.

    August 20, 2014

  • Iraq forces retake Mosul Dam; militants deny claim

    Boosted by two days of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces on Monday wrested back control of the country's largest dam from Islamic militants, a military spokesman in Baghdad said as fighting was reported to be underway for the rest of the strategic complex.

    August 18, 2014

  • US stocks open higher; Family Dollar jumps

     U.S. stocks are opening higher, following gains in Europe.

    August 18, 2014

  • Federal autopsy ordered in Missouri teen's death

    Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes-violent protests in suburban St. Louis.

    August 17, 2014

  • news_missingamish.jpg Official: Amish girls sexually abused in abduction

    Two young Amish sisters were sexually abused after their abduction from a roadside farm stand in northern New York, a prosecutor said Saturday.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine [Duplicate] Ukraine says troops entered rebel-held city

    Ukraine's government said Sunday that separatists shot down a Ukrainian fighter plane after army troops entered deep inside a rebel-controlled city in the east in what could prove a breakthrough development in the four-month long conflict.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_ferguson.jpg Governor declares emergency, sets Ferguson curfew

    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Saturday in a St. Louis suburb where police and protesters have clashed in the week since a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_rickperry.jpg Perry is latest 2016 GOP hopeful facing legal trouble

    As they form exploratory committees and begin hiring staff in key presidential battleground states, three potential Republican White House candidates also face the distraction of legal troubles back at home. The latest is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who following his indictment on two felony charges, is staring at the most serious accusations of wrongdoing by a prominent Republican governor openly considering a run for president.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Missing Amish Girls_Mile.jpg Sheriff: Pair may have plotted to kidnap more kids

    A couple accused of kidnapping two young Amish sisters were prowling for easy targets and may have also planned to abduct other children, a sheriff said Saturday.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium