Kremlin not to decide US whistleblower’s future: official

Moscow, July 1 (IANS) With the US whistleblower Edward Snowden staying at an international airport of Moscow for a week, the Kremlin said Sunday his future was not yet on its agenda.

“The president (Vladimir Putin) said he is not dealing with this issue and prefers that corresponding services do this job. Thus, the subject is not on the agenda of the Kremlin,” reported Xinhua citing presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on local radio station.

Putin said, on a visit to Finland earlier, that Snowden did not cross the border into Russia, the spokesperson said.

“As long as this is not our issue, I do not know what variants of developments can be and what legal and other aspects of this theme exist,” the official said while noting that the Kremlin “registers a wide range of opinions expressed by different experts and human rights activists” on this issue.

“Public opinion on this theme is very diverse. We know about this and take this into consideration,” said Peskov whose remarks came one day after Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said “a decision on Snowden’s location is in the hands of the Russian authorities.”

“For his political asylum bid to be considered, he should stay on the territory of Ecuador,” Correa said.

Snowden, charged by the US government with three felonies over disclosing a classified surveillance project, arrived in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport June 23.

He could neither cross the Russian border, nor buy another air ticket to fly out since he does not have a Russian visa while his US passport was annulled.

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