Runaway spy Edward Snowden to meet with Russia’s head of Amnesty International as U.S. criticises China for not extraditing him when he was in Hong Kong
- Fugitive has been in transit lounge at Sheremetyevo airport since June 23
- Amnesty International confirmed they will meet with him some time today
- Former NSA worker fled after revealing US plans to monitor internet activity
- He has been offered asylum by Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia
- U.S Criticise China over failure to extradite him while he was in Hong Kong
By Daniel Miller PUBLISHED: 12 July 2013 DailyMail
Wanted: Whistleblower Edward Snowden is to meet with human rights groups in Moscow today
Fugitive US spy Edward Snowden is to meet with human rights groups at Moscow airport today.
The former National Security Agency worker, who revealed details of a US intelligence program to monitor internet activity, arrived at Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 and has remained in the transit lounge ever since.
An airport spokesman said: ‘I can confirm that such a meeting will take place’
The spokesman added that the meeting was expected to take place sometime in the afternoon.
A Russian Amnesty International official said he plans to meet with Mr Snowden some time today, but declined to say where.
No other organisations have yet announced meetings with the fugitive.
There has been speculation that Mr Snowden would claim asylum in Venezuela, but he has not yet accepted the country’s offer.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had formally offered asylum, while Bolivia and Nicaragua said they too would take him in.
Ecuador has said it will consider any asylum request.
The United States has cancelled Mr Snowden’s passport and it is unclear if he has travel documents he would need to leave Moscow.
Yesterday US officials criticised China for failing to extradite Mr Snowden when he was in Hong Kong.
The world’s two largest economies had announced their plans for a treaty to combat climate change.
Stranded: Mr Snowden arrived at Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 and has remained in the transit lounge ever since
But Deputy Secretary of State William Burns used the opportunity to say the US was very disappointed with how authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong handled Mr Snowden’s case by refusing to extradite him before he flew from Hong Kong to Russia.
‘China’s handling of this case was not consistent with … the new type of relationship that we both seek to build,’ he said, referring to the summit a month ago between President Barack Obama and China’s new president, Xi Jinping, at a California resort.
Mr Obama also expressed disappointment about the Snowden case when he met the two leaders of the Chinese delegation yesterday in the Oval Office, a White House statement said.
Attack: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns (left) criticised China for failing to extradite Mr Snowden when he was in Hong Kong following two days of high-level talks between the US and China on security and the economy
The escape route is fraught with problems for Snowden, and would mean him having to gain access to Russia and then taking a huge detour
State Councillor Yang Jiechi retorted in his remarks at the talks that the handling of the Snowden case by authorities in semi-autonomous Hong Kong was ‘beyond reproach.
The Obama administration say U.S. diplomats are working behind the scenes to make it difficult for Snowden to find safe harbor in any of the nations that have offered him asylum.
Snowden has received a temporary travel document to fly to Caracas, Venezuela, and both Bolivia and Nicaragua have also offered him political asylum, but White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters during a regular briefing that the United States will do what it can to stop him.
An air plane, a supposed Aeroflot flight to Havana, rolls out in preparation for a take-off seen through a window of Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia
It’s not clear whether the Obama administration is hoping a Latin American nation will double-cross Snowden and offer him up to Washington after he arrives from Russia.
Sources say Snowden will not be allowed to board the only Aeroflot plane that offers direct connections to Caracas, a regular service to Cuban capital Havana.
The routing overflies both the EU and the US and there are fears the plane will be denied rights to Western airspace, and forced to land, leading to Snowden’s arrest.
The direct distance from Moscow to Caracas is 6,175 miles but it appeared too far for Snowden.
The escape route for Snowden is fraught with problems.
SNOWDEN MOST LIKELY TO TAKE A PRIVATE JET BUT IT WON’T COME EASY…
In order for Snowden to get from Moscow to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas without facing threat of U.S. extradition he would need to take an indirect, 7,000 mile route to avoid U.S. airspace.
Cuba is the only country in which Snowden could land safely in a commercial plane without facing extradition but would have to pass through U.S. airspace or that of a U.S. ally whereby it could be forced to land prematurely.
A private jet is considered the best bet for Snowden but it is likely to cost in the region of $200,000 to charter and would need to be of a certain size in order to reach Caracas the long way round without refuelling.
So far, Venezuela has yet to offer to cover the cost of Snowden’s journey, meaning he will have to rely on either a private donor or Wikileaks to stump up the money.
A Gulfstream V jet would be up to the job but it then becomes a question of how many are available in Russia and who would be prepared to face the wrath of America by loaning one to its most wanted man.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2361622/Pentagon-whistleblower-Edward-Snowden-meet-human-rights-groups-Moscow-airport-today.html#ixzz2YolWfcLP
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