‘US threats on Snowden will boost China-Russia ties’

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 13:49

Moscow: The United States is applying "ill-considered" pressure on Russia and China to expel fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden that will only serve to move Moscow and Beijing closer together, a top Russian lawmaker warned Wednesday.

"The threats from the United States towards Russia and China over the Snowden case will not give results, but will just strengthen closer ties between Moscow and Beijing," tweeted Alexei Pushkov, who heads the lower house of parliament`s foreign affairs committee.

He added that the US was applying "ill-considered pressure" in the case that threatens to damage relations between Washington, Moscow and Beijing at a time they are seeking common ground over the crisis in Syria.

Pushkov`s comments came after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov complained of what he called "threats" from US officials over Snowden`s case.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ended speculation over the whereabouts of the 30-year-old former intelligence analyst by confirming he was still in the transit zone at Moscow`s Sheremetyevo airport.

Putin stressed that Russia lacked an extradition treaty with the US but Washington hit back, claiming there was a "clear legal basis" to expel Snowden.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for Russia to be "calm" and hand over Snowden, saying Washington was not looking for "confrontation."

But White House spokesman Jay Carney also lashed out at Beijing, saying China`s failure to "honour extradition obligations" had dealt a "serious setback" to efforts to build trust with new President Xi Jinping.

Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong, a special administrative region under Chinese rule that has maintained its own British-derived legal system.

Authorities there said the US government request to arrest him did not fully comply with Hong Kong legal requirements.
AFP



First Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 13:48

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