Putting Vladimir Putin in an even tighter spot, Ed Snowden has asked Russia for protection against the possibility of the United States kidnapping or assassinating him. With President Obama due to visit Russia in early September, Russia is keen to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of both countries.
Speaking to Katie Stallard from Sky News, Anatoly Kucherena, Snowdens lawyer said:
“Of course he is afraid for his life and safety, absolutely. He wrote this in his request for asylum and it is understandable that he has grounds to be worried, quite substantial grounds. He explained his position very clearly – he said that he can’t go back to America because he is scared that he could be subjected to torture there and that he could be subjected to capital punishment. He explained that different statements from representatives of the State Department of the US are blatantly filled with threats towards him, and of course he decided to apply to the Federal Migration Service in Russia because he understands that his life is in danger.”
President Putin is downplaying the issue and told reporters on Wednesday that:
“Bilateral relations, in my opinion, are far more important than scrabbles about the activities of the secret services. Russia has an independent foreign policy and we will follow it”
His comments come amid the United States demanding that Snowden be transported back to the US to face espionage charges.
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