Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be hell-bent in saving Snowden, in an unprecedented ‘humanitarian mission’ undertaken by any of his predecessors in terms of its scale and audacity. Putin’s humanitarians efforts for the well-being of Snowden an American citizen of repute, is sure to make, any crocodile worth its salt to shed tears any time.
Putin accused the United States of double standards over the handling of the case of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked details of Russia did not support damaging US often supported critics of other nations.
Mr. Putin said: “We will not go into much detail. We have warned Mr. Snowden that any harm he might do to Russia-US relations is unacceptable. As to this problem in general, we have repeatedly spoken about it. Human rights activism, of course, comes at a price. For someone who receives financial, political and information backing, as well as protection from the US, this is an easy pursuit. But for someone who criticises the US, it is much harder, as proved by the plane-grounding incident with the Bolivian President. As I understand, Mr. Snowden, he never intended staying in Russia forever.”
Snowden, who has been trapped in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since the US government withdrew his passport on June 27, filed an official request for temporary asylum in the Russian Federation on July 16. A spokesman from the Russian Federal Migration Service confirmed that they had received the request, but that it may take up to three months for the matter to be decided. In the meantime however, the request may open a path for Snowden to leave the airport and be transferred to a refugee centre.
Mr. Putin previously made a clear statement that acting against US interests would bar the whistleblower from receiving safe haven in Russia. However, since the request for temporary asylum has now been officially made, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the president would have no further influence over the process.