Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Edward Snowden is none of their business and American attempts to blame his country for harboring him are "groundless and unacceptable." On Tuesday, Lavrov fought back against accusations that his government had allowed Snowden to use Moscow as safe haven, by insisting that Snowden "did not cross the Russian border," an implication that the fugitive has never left the "transit area" of Sheremetyevo Airport and is therefore in a diplomatic no-man's land.
Lavrov was responding to demands from his counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, who demanded that Russia hand over Snowden, saying "I think it's very important to them to adhere to the rule of law and respect the relationship." In return, Lavrov claimed Moscow had nothing to do with his travel plans from Hong Kong, have no cause or legal basis to arrest him, and don't appreciate the accusations. "There is no lawful basis for this kind of behavior from American officials," he said.
For his part, Kerry tried to dial back the rhetoric on Tuesday, saying there's no need for a heated confrontation between the two countries. However, he probably should have told John McCain before the Arizona Senator went on CNN and called Russian President Vladimir Putin "old KGB colonel apparatchik that dreams of the days of the Russian empire."
Meanwhile, no one even knows if Lavrov is telling the truth about the Russian border, because there are no confirmed reports that Snowden even made it to Moscow or if he is still there. No one has taken a picture of him, or proved that they've spoken to him, even if the U.S. says, officially, that they believe he is still in Russia. We don't if Snowden's goal was to get the governments of the world to get mad at each other instead of him, but if it was, then it's worked like a charm.
- Politics & Government
- John Kerry