Will Edward Snowden Return To US? Kremlin Denies Plans Of ‘Gifting’ NSA Whistleblower To US
The following is an excerpt from PRANSHU RATHI | February 14, 2017 | ibtimes.com |
A Russian government spokesman Monday refuted media reports that suggested that Moscow is considering handing over the former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden as a “gift” to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for the president of Russia, clarified that the issue has still not been discussed with the new administration, while adding that Russian officials are on the fence about whether or not Snowden should be granted Russian citizenship.
"No, this issue (Snowden’s fate) was not raised (during the Russian-US contacts)… at the moment it is not among bilateral issues," Dmitry Peskov, Presidential spokesperson told reporters Monday, according to the TASS news agency.
Reports suggesting that Russia is considering handing him over to U.S. authorities, which have since been debunked by the Kremlin, cited unnamed senior U.S. officials who claimed to have analyzed intelligence reports detailing conversations between Russian officials.
Snowden had earlier reacted to the reports by linking an NBC News article to his tweet on Friday night, adding: "Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.”
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