originally posted at 16:46
- US Lawmakers Seek Sanctions on Nations Helping Snowden
- US Presses Russia on Snowden Airport Status
- Russian Lawyer Welcomes Snowden With 'Crime and Punishment'
- Snowden 'Can Leave' Moscow Transit Zone - Reports
MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – Fugitive US former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden will “no doubt” stop leaking security information if he is given temporary asylum in Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Friday.
Putin “expressed a firm intention to not allow” further damage to American interests, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, when asked whether Snowden had pledged to stop the leaks when applying for asylum in Russia. “And I have no doubt this is how it will be, no matter how the situation develops,” he added.
Putin is “not participating” in discussions with the US over Snowden, he added. “Judging by the president’s schedule, you can conclude that he is not taking time out from it to follow Snowden,” Peskov told journalists.
The heads of Russia's Federal Security Service and the United States FBI "discuss the issue" of Snowden, he added.
Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking classified data about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, formally requested temporary asylum in Russia on July 16. He has been holed up in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport since arriving there on a flight from Hong Kong on June 23.
Washington has repeatedly called on Moscow to reject Snowden’s request for asylum and send him back to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage and theft.
updates with line on FSB, FBI contacts on Snowden
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.