No reason to detain or extradite him, says official

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… force the Russian plane to land when it is in American airspace.

Mr. Snowden’s disappearance prompted questions whether he ever was in Moscow. He has never been sighted here and no Russian official has confirmed that he did arrive in Moscow.

All that is known for sure is that Mr. Snowden has asked for political asylum in Ecuador. The Ecuadoran Foreign Minister confirmed on Monday getting the asylum request.

The U.S. seems to be certain that Mr. Snowden is in Moscow, with Secretary of State John Kerry urging Russia from New Delhi to turn in the “traitor” to American authorities and warning of “consequences”.

The Kremlin, however, has pleaded ignorance. President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary denied any knowledge of Mr. Snowden’s movements.

“I have no information [about Snowden] at all; I hear it for the first time [that he is travelling via Moscow],” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

Meanwhile, an “informed source” told the Interfax news agency on Monday that Russian authorities have no reason to detain and extradite Mr. Snowden to the U.S.

“Snowden has not committed any crime on Russian territory. Russian law enforcers have no Interpol warrant to arrest him. Therefore there are no grounds to detain him,” said the unnamed Russian official.

A senior Russian legislator said Washington should not expect cooperation from Moscow in the Snowden case.

“The Americans did not think much about consequences when they eavesdropped on [then] Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the G8 summit in London in 2009 or when their wigged spy was caught trying to recruit a Russian security service officer,” said Alexei Pushkov, foreign relations head in the lower house of the Russian Parliament.

The next Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana is on Tuesday.