Putin says lack of treaties prevent Snowden's extradition
MOSCOW, September 4 (RAPSI) - The US may be right in demanding the extradition of Edward Snowden, but the problem lies in the lack of treaties between the two countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Associated Press.
When asked whether the US Administration is right in asking for Snowden to be turned over, Putting replied, "maybe yes."
"See, the problem lies elsewhere. We don't know whether the administration is right or wrong. We are not protecting Snowden. The problem is that we don't have extradition treaties with the US," President Putin said.
He added that Russia had proposed the establishment of such a treaty on numerous occasions, but that each time the US refused.
Edward Snowden, 30, a former US intelligence contractor, is wanted by the United States on espionage and theft charges after leaking classified information about the US National Security Agency's (NSA) sweeping telephone and electronic surveillance programs.
He received temporary asylum from Russia earlier this month, a move that has further strained US-Russian relations and prompted an outcry from the administration of US President Barack Obama and members of Congress.
Washington has strongly condemned Russia's decision to give Snowden temporary asylum, and has urged Moscow to send him back to the United States. Earlier US President Obama called off a Moscow summit with Putin scheduled for September, citing lack of progress in bilateral ties as well as the Snowden case.