RIA Novosti: U.S. Left Five Extradition Requests Unanswered – Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 21, 2013) Five of Russia’s extradition requests sent to the United States in the past few years have been left unanswered, a deputy Russian prosecutor general has said in an interview.

“Since 2008, the United States has refused 16 times to extradite people to us citing the absence of a relevant treaty,” Deputy Russian Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily.

“We have been insisting on concluding such a treaty but have been getting a refusal based on unconvincing arguments,” he said. “Another five of our requests sent to the United States in 2011-2012 have not been answered.”

The United States has been unsuccessfully pushing Russia for extradition of fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden, a former contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA), is wanted by the United States on espionage and other charges after he gave journalists classified documents detailing the NSA’s far-reaching electronic and telephone surveillance programs.

Snowden formally requested temporary asylum in Russia on July 16. Washington repeatedly called on Moscow to reject his request and send him back to the United States to stand trial, but in vain. Snowden was granted the asylum in early August.

Zvyagintsev said Russia has not received any official request for Snowden’s extradition from the United States.