Washington: Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly said that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden must stop damaging American partners with his leaks if he wants the Russian authorities to consider his asylum claim.
Snowden had been in hiding in Hong Kong for a couple of weeks shortly after revealing highly classified data about the US led ` snooping programme `. He later fled to Moscow in a bid to claim asylum in Ecuador.
However, the US authorities revoked his passport and he is currently stuck up at Moscow`s Sheremetyevo airport`s transit area and has request for the Russian authorities to grant him asylum.
According to CBS News, Putin said that Snowden has no plans to stop his revelations about US programmes but he added that Russia is not aiming to send him back to US despite US` repeated attempts at pressurizing the authorities.
Putin insisted that Snowden is not a Russian agent and Russian security agencies have not contacted him either but has declared him a `free man` and has welcomed any nation which wants to grant him asylum.
He has put but this one condition to Snowden`s asylum claim that he must stop his activities aimed at damaging the American partners in light of various allies to US growing impatient about the revelations of US snooping on them including Germany, Italy and France, the report added.