Russian law enforcers have no reasons so far to detain and subsequently extradite former CIA employee Edward Snowden who disclosed information about the operations of U.S. special services, a well-informed Moscow source told Interfax on Monday.
"Snowden has not committed any crimes in the territory of Russia. Neither have Russian law enforcement bodies received any instructions to detain him along Interpol lines," he said. "Thus, we have no grounds for detaining this transit passenger."
Earlier reports said the open section of Interpol's international search database, posted on the Interpol.int website, has no information about Snowden. However, the U.S. could have entered Snowden on the international wanted list using internal information channels only, without informing the press. In this case, the Russian law enforcement services, being parties with Interpol, would be obliged to detain the ex-spy immediately on arrival.
On Sunday Snowden left Hong Kong on an Aeroflot flight and landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. Shortly after it was reported that he had asked Ecuador for political asylum. The Ecuadoran authorities are currently handling the request, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca announced. He stressed that the Ecuadoran side will decide on the Snowden case on the basis of principle, not the protection of its own interests on the international arena.
Snowden fled to Hong Kong in May and then he disclosed information about special services' secret surveillance operations on the Internet. Snowden's leak suggests that the U.S. special services have gained access to millions of telephone calls, and to the servers of major Internet companies.
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