Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, blasted the U.S. at a press conference today and rejected U.S. demands that Russia extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, the AP reports.
Lavrov said it is “absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable” that the U.S. is suggesting that Russia’s harboring of Snowden is a violation of U.S. law.
Interestingly, Lavrov also reportedly said that Snowden “has not crossed the Russian border.”
Assuming Snowden actually exists and actually did land at Moscow’s airport on Sunday, this presumably means that Snowden is hanging out at or near the airport without having passed through customs and formally entered Russia. (Think the special diplomatic status of “Duty Free” shops).
This limbo status would presumably allow Russia to make the sort of claims it is making, and have a nice long debrief with Mr. Snowden, without having to flat-out lie or otherwise further damage its relationship with the U.S.
Lavrov refused to say where Snowden is. But he was quick to say that Russia has nothing to do with Snowden or his travel plans.
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