Snowden’s presence in Russia provoked by somebody – Russia’s Human Rights ombudsman

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – June 28, 2013) Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin does not think Russia should grant political refuge to CIS intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, and he sees his emergence at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport as not accidental.

“Should we grant him political refuge? I can’t answer this question by saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ I have doubts,” Lukin told Interfax on Friday.

“I don’t think Snowden is a proper figure to be supported or pitied for the only reason that Americans don’t like him,” he said. “Is it in our interests – national and human – to keep Snowden in our territory? I am not sure. He did not commit crimes against Russia. But refuge is not granted to all people who have not committed crimes against Russia.”

Snowden’s emergence at Sheremetyevo Airport was largely provoked, he also said.

“This man was in Hong Kong. Why did he fly to Russia? In fact, a Chinese problem has become ours. Someone has created a situation where we are compelled to deal with this problem. We could have done very well without this situation, but we are dealing with it. I see a serious problem here,” Lukin said.