Russia Rejects U.S. Demand for Snowden's Extradition

Edward Snowden
By Associated Press | 

UPDATE: 6/25/13 1:14 PM CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says Russia has a "clear legal basis" to expel National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and is asking them to do so without delay.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden says even without an extradition treaty, Russia should expel him to face espionage charges in the United States.

Hayden's statement Tuesday came after Russian President Vladimir Putin bluntly rejected the request for extradition and said Snowden is free to travel wherever he wants.

Hayden said the White House agrees with Putin that they don't want the issue to negatively impact their bilateral relations. But she said they are asking for Snowden's extradition to build upon their law enforcement cooperation, particularly since the Boston Marathon bombing.

UPDATE: 6/25/13 9:49 AM CDT

NAANTALI, Finland (AP) — Putin: Snowden is in transit zone of Moscow airport, Russia will not extradite him.

UPDATE: 6/25/13 8:25 AM CDT

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States is not looking for a confrontation with Russia, where admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden is believed to be hiding.

Speaking at a news conference in Saudi Arabia, Kerry says it's true that the United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia but called on Moscow to comply with common law practices between countries where fugitives are concerned.

Kerry said, "I would simply appeal for calm and reasonableness. We would hope that Russia would not side with someone who is 'a fugitive' from justice.' "

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, earlier Tuesday bluntly rejected U.S. demands for Snowden, saying the American hadn't crossed the Russian border.

Lavrov insisted that Russia has nothing to do with him or his travel plans.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister has rejected U.S. demands to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who has apparently stopped in Moscow while trying to evade U.S. justice.

Sergey Lavrov said that Snowden hasn't crossed the Russian border and insisted that Russia has nothing to do with him, his relations with U.S. justice or his travel plans.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, he angrily lashed out at the U.S. demands for the extradition and warnings of negative consequences if Moscow fails to comply.

Lavrov said that accusing Russia of "violation of U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy" with regard to Snowden is "absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable."

He wouldn't specify the location of Snowden, who booked a Havana-bound flight from Moscow Monday but didn't show up on the plane

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