June 23, 2013 18:06
No clarity yet whether Snowden will seek political refuge in Russia - Pushkov
MOSCOW. June 23 (Interfax) - Chairman of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov said no reliable information is available on whether ex-CIA officer Edward Snowden intends to apply for political refuge in Russia.
"We have no verified information on this score so far," Pushkov told Interfax on Sunday in remarks about reports that Snowden has arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong and plans to fly to Cuba and then to Venezuela.
Speculations on political refuge arose in connection with media reports claiming that Snowden's stop-over in Moscow is not accidental and that he could apply for political refuge in Russia.
"We need to get exact information about where he would seek political refuge," Pushkov said. But he added that this issue may not arise at all, if reports are confirmed that he wants to apply for political refuge in Cuba, or Venezuela.
On whether a conflict situation may emerge if Snowden does apply for political asylum in Russia after all, Pushkov said that the West was not overly concerned about the possible negative consequences of monitoring the then president Dmitry Medvedev's conversations during the G20's summit in London in 2009.
"They did not particularly worry about possible conflicts when their spy wearing a wig was recruiting a Russian special service officer and was caught red handed," Pushkov said.
"I think we should be guided by our own understanding of what we should do. We do not see any special restraint on the part of U.S. special services with regards to Russia," he said.
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