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Ambassador says Bolivian diplomats unaware of Snowden’s whereabouts

July 04, 2013, 21:52 UTC+3

Maria Luisa Ramos: “Bolivia respects international law and we don’t play any such games”

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MOSCOW, July 4 (Itar-Tass) - Neither Bolivian diplomats nor members of the delegation that accompanies President Evo Morales on the recent visit to Moscow had any meetings with the former CIA technical analyst Edward Snowden or contacted him in any other manner, Bolivian ambassador to Russia Maria Luisa Ramos said Thursday in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.

“I’m the only person among the Bolivian diplomats who could have possibly done it but I assure you I didn’t,” Ramos said. “We were really preoccupied with organizing the visit and we just did not have time for that.”

“I don’t know anything about Snowden’s whereabouts - I don’t have absolutely any data on it,” she said.

She admitted the complexity of the situation around the fugitive CIA officer but said on it: “Whatever we know about it we get from the media only.”

Ramos also denied vehemently any possibility of President Morales taking Snowden along with him to Bolivia on his jet.

“I can tell you for sure Snowden wasn’t flying on the presidential jet,” she said, adding that putting the man aboard would have been barely possible to do in purely practical terms if one considered the distance between the airports - Vnukovo where Evo Morales arrived at and where he left from and Shemetyevo where Snowden was supposedly taking shelter.

“This looks like paranoia, a cheap telenovela when people start making suppositions that someone smuggled him out of there, crossed the entire city and put him on Morales’s jet,” she said.

Ramos confirmed that the Austrian authorities did not subject the presidential jet to inspections during the forced landing in Vienna. “This would mean a breach of diplomatic immunity and President Morales wouldn’t have admitted it.”

As she explained for why President Morales would have never put Snowden on his jet, the ambassador said: “We respect the norms of international law and it would be an encroachment on them if he had come to Moscow with one team of people and had left it in the company of someone else.”

“Bolivia respects international law and we don’t play any such games,” she said.

Ramos mentioned the measures that the Bolivian authorities planned to take in response to the situation around the presidential jet. She said representatives of the government met with the ambassadors of the countries that had forbidden the presidential jet to enter their airspace.

“But we won’t stop at that and the problem should be taken up at the UN because those governments must present explanations for what actually happened,” Ramos said.

“Quite obviously, the issue won’t drop off the agenda with President Morales’s safe arrival home,” she said. “It’s incredible that some countries should have the liberty of mockeries and putting the lives of /other countries’/ presidents at risk.

“Bolivia will petition to all the existing international agencies so as to get clarifications and due explanations,” Ramos said.


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