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Snowden must leave Russia to continue as human rights activist - Alexei Pushkov

July 16, 2013, 20:51 UTC+3
According to him, it is "absolutely impossible" to speculate in the short term whether the former CIA employee will stay in Russia or will leave it
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) - To continue human rights activity, fugitive Edward Snowden will have to leave Russia and do this in one of the countries that will agree to grant him permanent political asylum, the chairman of the international affairs committee at the State Duma lower house of parliament, Alexei Pushkov, told Tass on Tuesday.

According to him, it is “absolutely impossible” to speculate in the short term whether the former CIA employee will stay in Russia or will leave it.

“At the present time, Snowden has been stranded in Russia against his own will and cannot leave our country,” he said. “In fact Snowden has no choice,” he stated. Pushkov said leaving Russia is connected with a direct risk for the life of former CIA employee. “All countries of western democracy have denied Snowden asylum, and the incident with the forced landing of Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane in Vienna and its examination demonstrates that planes are not safe for Snowden either,” the deputy said.

At the same time, he stressed that in order to get temporary asylum in Russia, Snowden will have to meet the demands of Russian President Vladimir Putin - not to cause further damage to American partners. “Russia and the United States have an extensive agenda, including the Iranian problem, the Syrian crisis as well as the North Korean issue,” he stressed.

“Russia and the United States must continue cooperation for the sake of security all over the world,” he stated. “That is why the Russian leadership is interested to see that the incident with Snowden won’t tell negatively on relations with America,” he emphasized.

He also said that Snowden had made it clear that he did not want to give up his human rights activity and would continue exposing “the Big Brother”.

“In order to continue such activity he will have to later leave Russia and engage in it in one of the countries that will agree to grant him permanent asylum,” the head of the Duma committee said.

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