Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will never hand over National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, to the United States.
“Russia has never extradited anybody anywhere and has no intention to do so,” Putin said on Monday.
Putin added that Russian secret services are not working in collusion with Snowden who "considers himself to be a human rights campaigner, a new dissident, something like [Soviet-era rights campaigner Andrei] Sakharov."
The Russian president went on to say that Snowden may stay in Russia under “one condition: he should stop his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners no matter how strange this may sound coming from my lips.”
The statement came after US President Barack Obama said Washington had finished holding high-level discussions with Moscow over their respective security agencies to find a way out of the impasse following Snowden’s arrival in Moscow on June 23.
Washington has called on Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia not to provide political asylum to Snowden.
The US has reportedly revoked Snowden’s passport, with State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, saying the fugitive “should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the US.”