Putin suggests Snowden may stop leaking documents

The former NSA contractor will leave Russia as soon as possible, Russia president says

By , IDG News Service |  Internet

Edward Snowden, the leaker of U.S. National Security Agency surveillance activities, may have changed his position about disclosing more information in the future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday, according to news reports.

Snowden, if applying for political asylum in Russia, may agree not to leak more documents, Putin said in a press conference. Earlier this month, Putin said Snowden, a former NSA contractor, could claim asylum in Russia if he stopped his leaks.

"The conditions of receiving political asylum are known to him," Putin said, according to a report by Agence France-Presse. "Judging by his latest statement, he is somewhat changing his position, but the situation has not been finally clarified so far."

Russia will not aid Snowden if he continues to leak information, Putin said, according to RT.com. Russian officials said they have not yet received a formal asylum request from Snowden, RT.com reported.

Putin also accused the U.S. government of trapping Snowden in Russia. "He arrived on our territory uninvited, he did not fly to us, he was flying transit to other countries," Putin said, according to Agence France-Presse. "But as soon as he was in the air, it became known, and our American partners essentially blocked off his further flight."

Snowden will leave Russia as soon as he can, Putin added in televised comments.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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