MOSCOW, July 12 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko believes that Russia should grant political asylum to the former U.S. security agent Edward Snowden, Natalya Fomenko, the press secretary of Russian parliament’s upper chamber told Itar-Tass on Friday.
Matvieynko insists that Snowden is being persecuted in the United States where a number of states still apply capital punishment.
"In connection with Mr. Snowden’s request for a political asylum in Russia I believe that we should leave emotions aside and act in compliance with international law and the internal legislation of the Russian Federation,” Matviyenko said in her official comment.
Russia grants political asylum to persons who seek protection from persecution or face a real threat of becoming a victim of persecution in their home countries under Article 63, part 1, of the Russian Constitution and in accordance with procedures of granting political asylum to foreign citizens and people without citizenship approved by the Russian president’s decree on July 21, 1997.
At the same time, Matviyenko said that Snowden should unconditionally meet the Russian side’s conditions.
"A political asylum can be granted to him only if he stops causing damage to our partner - the United States of America. He should strictly comply with this condition,” the Federation Council speaker said, adding Russia had no legal grounds to deny asylum to Mr. Snowden.
Matviyenko said that many human rights activists at home and abroad had classified Snowden’s actions as human rights activities.
“Many human rights activists in Russia and abroad have welcomed a possibility of granting a political asylum to him,” Matviyenko stressed.
Earlier on Friday, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin also said that Edward Snowden should be granted a political or temporary asylum in Russia.