The United States “is possibly right” to seek the extradition of whistleblower Edward Snowden from Russia, but Moscow will not hand him over, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast Wednesday.
“The problem is not that we’re defending Snowden. We’re not. The problem is that we don’t have a mutual extradition treaty with the United States,” Putin said in an interview according to a transcript of his interview with The Associated Press and Russia’s Channel One television.
“The United States refused to sign such a treaty with us. And they do not extradite our criminals… who have tortured people, trafficked people, whose hands are covered in blood,” Putin said, giving no further detail.
“It’s clear that we’re not handing him over, he can feel safe here,” Putin said, according to a transcript of the interview on the Kremlin website.
He added that Snowden was a “strange guy…who has doomed himself to a fairly complicated life.”