Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

U.S. Pressure over Snowden Is Hypocritical, Russia Says

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

U.S. Pressure over Snowden Is Hypocritical, Russia Says

Article excerpt

In the latest in a series of statements that seem aimed at laying the groundwork for granting asylum to Edward J. Snowden, Moscow said Washington routinely disregards its extradition requests.

Russian officials have complained that the United States routinely disregards extradition requests by the Russian government, the latest in a series of public statements that seem aimed at laying the groundwork for granting asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor on the run from American authorities.

In separate but apparently coordinated statements, officials from the Russian Interior Ministry and from the prosecutor general's office complained Monday that the United States had refused to extradite individuals sought by Russia as terrorism suspects or on serious criminal charges.

"The United States is repeatedly refusing Russia to extradite individuals, to hold them criminally liable, including those accused of committing serious or heinous crimes," Sergei Gorlenko, the acting chief of the prosecutor general's extradition office, told the Interfax news agency. "We have been denied the extradition of murderers, bandits and bribe takers."

The Interior Ministry accused the United States of "double standards" in demanding Mr. Snowden's return. The prosecutor general's office said the United States had refused to extradite about 20 suspects over the past decade, citing the lack of an extradition treaty -- the same reason senior Kremlin officials have given in saying they have no plan to repatriate Mr. Snowden.

Mr. Snowden, who faces criminal espionage charges for leaking classified information about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, has requested temporary asylum in Russia.

Mr. Snowden has accused the United States of violating international law by preventing him from traveling to Latin America, where three countries have expressed a willingness to take him.

A decision on Mr. Snowden's application for temporary asylum by officials from the Federal Migration Service could come any day. By applying for temporary rather than political asylum, Mr. Snowden took the easiest route to permission for an extended stay in Russia, according to Anatoly G. …

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