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Ecuadorian Foreign Minister: Snowden case shows that U.S. puts its interests above morals

August 07, 2013, 15:41 UTC+3

Speaking at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino pointed to the "unacceptable imbalance in the global system of governance"

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UNITED NATIONS, August 7 (Itar-Tass) - Washington’s desire to have CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden extradited at all costs suggests that the United States puts its own interests above all generally accepted moral principles, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino stated.

Speaking at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, he pointed to the “unacceptable imbalance in the global system of governance, which is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust between the two countries” that was exposed by the Snowden affair.

“The imbalance of which I speak is obvious - the United States, like any country, demands that the requirements related to its national security be fulfilled. These legal requirements are appropriate, provided that they do not affect human rights or the rights or sovereignty of other countries. That is, there must be certain limits. However, we now see the proof that these limits do not exist. National security of the United States is put above all generally accepted moral values,” said Ricardo Pati·o.

According to him, the right of every person to seek asylum, as well as the provision of such asylum by any sovereign state “is enshrined in international law.” According to it, only the country that provides asylum to a person, and not the country from the reprisal of which he is hiding can decide whether this person deserves the right to freedom from political persecution.

Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, is accused by US authorities of leaking classified information about electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA). At home, he is charged with violation of two articles of the US Espionage Act of 1917 - unauthorised disclosure of classified information affecting national defence and deliberate transfer of US intelligence data to persons who are not entitled to receive such information. In addition, Snowden is accused of stealing the US government’s property. Under each of these charges he faces up to 10 years in prison.

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