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Moscow cannot extradite Snowden:human rights chief

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-25 21:18

MOSCOW - Russia could not extradite fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden under any circumstances, head of the Presidential Human Rights Council said Thursday.

"The extradition is impossible," Interfax news agency quoted Mikhail Fedotov as saying.

Fedotov said a person who has asked for political asylum cannot be extradited in line with international law. In addition, from a legal point of view, Russia had nothing to do with the US refuge-seeker, he said.

"The problem is that, although Snowden is physically in Russian territory, legally he is not here. While he is in an airport's transit zone, he hasn't crossed Russia's borders. So Russia cannot extradite him or do anything at all with him," Fedotov said.

Meanwhile, Fedotov said Russia would not violate international law in the situation he described as a dead-end.

"We can do nothing to satisfy our US partners even if we wanted," he said.

Earlier Thursday, US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul said Washington had asked Russia not to "extradite" Snowden but to "hand him over" to US authorities.

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