Most likely, yes. At least it seems to be the conclusion reached by the former KGB spy and current President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. No matter how much the media has tried to convince us that Snowden has disappeared, Russia’s President has confirmed a press conference in Finland, that fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden is still in the transit area at Moscow airport.
Hong Kong – Moscow – Havana
Retired strategic in Hong Kong, perhaps with the hope of a possible support from China, the “new Assange”, Edward Snowden overturned entire global media when in weekend he arrived at the international airport Sheremetyevo in Moscow. Concomitantly with the comedy of “invisible man” in flight Moscow – Havana, has began the battle of official statements. Equally comical and unnecessary. Because how else could be evaluated such a statement of Mr. Kerry: “It is accurate there is not an extradition treaty between Russia and the United states, but there are standards of behavior between sovereign nations” ?? I understand that Snowden’s Saga is becoming an increasing embarrassment for President Barack Obama. But the human rights cannot be traded on the street corner, there is not a “small deal” and we expect that even the representatives of most serious democracies in the world to know this. Yeah, sounds like a joke…I know !
U.S. officials admonished Beijing and Moscow on Monday for allowing Snowden to escape their clutches. But Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday softened the tone of the American requests to Russia to hand over Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive former national security contractor who is accused of revealing surveillance programs. “We are not looking for a confrontation” Mr. Kerry said during a joint news conference with his Saudi counterpart in Jeddah. “We are not ordering anybody. We are simply requesting under a very normal procedure for the transfer of somebody”. Normal procedure ? This is precisely the problem, Mr Kerry: there is not normal procedure…It’s simply to understand. 🙂
Mr. Kerry’s comments came in response to a strong statement from Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, that rejected the suggestion that Russia had an obligation to hand over Mr. Snowden. Mr. Lavrov also insisted that Mr. Snowden, who Russian news agencies said had arrived in Moscow on Sunday aboard a Russian commercial flight from Hong Kong, “did not cross the Russian border”. This diplomatic language appeared to be a technical way of saying Mr. Snowden remained in the international passenger transit area of the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow.
What about China ? “The United States’ criticism of China’s central government is baseless. China absolutely cannot accept it” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in Beijing, also dismissing U.S. criticism of Hong Kong, a Chinese territory, for letting Snowden leave. There is an informal deal between Russia and China on this subject? Hard to deny, but difficult to prove.
Gallery could not be complete without Putin’s unmistakable irony. His statement speaks for itself. “Mr. Snowden has truly arrived in Moscow” – Putin confirmed, as if there would be any question about it… “For us it was a complete surprise. He came as a transit passenger, he does not need any visa or other documents. He can buy a ticket and fly wherever he wants. It does not cross state borders, so he does not need a visa. And any accusations against Russia (of aiding him) are ravings and rubbish. It is a transit passenger, as in the transit hall he remains to this day. Our special service with Mr. Snowden did not talk and do not will work today. As for the issue of someone, then we can issue a foreigner only country with which we have such an agreement. With the U.S. we haven’t such agreement. And on the territory of the Russian Federation, Mr. Snowden, thank God, did not commit crimes”. O, may have fallen so bad Russian secret services ? I rather believe that denying about involvement of Intelligence by Russian president is due to a old professional defect. Or a huge dose of cynicism, if we remember that early U.S. officials said intelligence agencies were concerned they did not know how much sensitive material Snowden had and that he may have taken more documents than initially estimated which could get into the hands of foreign intelligence.
The Russian president has taken a break, it seemed that the topic is exhausted, but was just “first act”, and Putin continued: “There’s another person involved in a similar case – Mr Assange, who is also required to issue. He’s like Mr. Snowden considers himself a human rights activist and fights for the dissemination of information. Ask yourself whether you want to give these people in jail or not ? Personally, I would not want to deal with such issues. It’s like … – Putin took a pause, searching for comparison – It’s like a pig cut: cry a lot, but little wool. I hope that this does not affect the nature of our business relations with the United States. I hope our partners will understand. Mr. Snowden was a free man, the sooner he will choose the final point of his destination, the better would be for us and for him”. If Snowden follows the trajectory of Assange, Putin might be right. Does anybody remember about the economic crisis, climate change and natural disasters that come one after another, or about Syrian, Iranian filles etc? Oh, yes, Mr Obama just talks about climate change … just talks…