ST PETERSBURG, July 10 (Itar-Tass) - Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko said Russia strictly abides by the existing international rules in the situation with former CIA staffer Edward Snowden.
"Mr Snowden is in the transit area /of the airport/. The situation is difficult; it's a deadlock," she noted, "what can Russia do? We cannot take any measures with respect to him: he remains in the transit zone on legitimate grounds. In this case, Russia cannot make any decisions," the speaker told reporters during a pause in the visiting FC session in St Petersburg on Wednesday.
"The prestige of Russia, as any other state, is influenced by one factor: whether a state abides by international laws and regulations that exist in the world community," Matviyenko said.
Edward Snowden, 30, a former CIA staffer, divulged highly classified electronic espionage programs his agency was implementing in the USA and all over the world. The exposure caused a scandal which is still gaining moment. Snowden went to Hong Kong from the USA, and then flew to Moscow, in order to leave for the state which could grant him political asylum. However, he became stranded at an international airport in the Russian capital. According to diplomatic sources, he is currently staying in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport.
Over the weekend, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia all offered political asylum to Snowden.