By Kathy Lally and Karen DeYoung, Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 11:52 AM
MOSCOW— Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that fugitive document-leaker Edward Snowden is still holed up inside a secure “transit zone” at Moscow’s Sheremyetevo Airport, and repeated that Russia has no legal standing to turn him over to U.S. authorities.
Putin said Snowden arrived in Moscow unexpectedly and had committed no crime in Russia. He has not crossed into a part of the airport that requires him to show his passport to Russian authorities. Because Russia does not have an extradition agreement with the United States, Putin said, he will not be extradited as the United States has requested.
Russian journalists meet passengers from an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong as they land in Moscow. Snowden fled Hong Kong for Moscow on Sunday with the help of the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, according to Russian media reports and a WikiLeaks spokesman. Snowden’s ultimate destination is unknown, but Ecuador’s foreign minister tweeted that his government had received a request for asylum from him.
Igor Kharitonov / European Pressphoto Agency