Russian Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said today that if American NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden requests asylum in Russian it would be seriously considered. Here is what you need to know.
1.Russia Has no Extradition Laws With the United States
Russia is one of the many countries that maintains diplomatic relations with the United States but currently has no extradition treaty. Early 2012 the United States and in Russia were in talks to create an extradition treaty in the wake of two cases, Viktor Bout and Vladimir Zdorovenin, who were both Russian nations arrested overseas by American agents and taken to the United States. However, the extradition treaty was never created.
2. Members of the Russian Government Are Ready to Offer asylum
3. Snowden is Looking For a Country That "Believe(s) in Free Speech"
Snowden told the Washington Post earlier this week that he was seeking, "asylum from any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy." This has led many to wonder why Snowden initially chose Hong Kong, which falls under oppressive China's ultimate control, or why he would ultimately choose Russia to seek permanent residence.
4. Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Made a Statement
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told Sky News this week in the interview above:
What other countries need to do is line up to give support for him. Everyone should go to their politicians and press and demand that they offer Mr. Snowden asylum in their country
5. Snowden Knows He Can Never Come Home
Snowden told the Guardian that he realizes that the decision to leak the NSA documents would mean that he could never go home. But, he said he is willing to make that sacrifice becauase, "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."
If you want to learn how to avoid extradition to the United States you can read this.