Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday offered the first direct confirmation that Edward J. Snowden, fugitive U.S. national security contractor, was in a transit area Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, and he appeared to rule out Washington’s requests for his extradition to the United States.
At a news conference while on an official visit to Finland, Mr. Putin offered no new information on where Mr. Snowden might be headed from the airport. He said Mr. Snowden had broken no Russian laws and Russian security officials had not made contact with him.
Mr. Putin spoke hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov chastised the U.S. for its demands regarding Mr. Snowden, who has been charged with violating U.S. espionage laws for disclosing intelligence secrets.
Mr. Lavrov said Mr. Snowden had not crossed the Russian border, which appeared to be a technical way of saying he was in an international passenger transit area. But Mr. Putin was far more direct. — New York Times News Service