MOSCOW, June 24 (RIA Novosti) – US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia and China on Monday that their relations with the United States would be impaired if it becomes clear they had ignored extradition requests for fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, according to media reports.
Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong on a flight to Moscow on Sunday, despite the US authorities requesting his extradition for his disclosure of classified documents about US intelligence programs involving monitoring of computer systems and social networks.
Speaking during a visit to New Delhi, Kerry said Snowden has betrayed his country and has to face the consequences, and it would be “very disappointing” if China and Russia had known about the whistleblower’s plans to take a Hong Kong-Moscow plane on Sunday.
“There would be without any question some effect and impact on the relationship” with the US if this had occurred, Kerry said according to the Wall Street Journal. He also said that there was no clear information on where Snowden is staying as of Monday.
Snowden, who is seeking political asylum in Ecuador, was expected to take a flight from Moscow to Havana this afternoon, but did not appear on the flight, which was mobbed by journalists.
Russian officials have not yet confirmed Snowden’s presence in Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian media he had no idea Snowden had planned to come to Moscow. “I first heard about it from you [journalists]” he said.
Snowden, accompanied by Sarah Harrison, a representive of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, is being kept out of public view in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport transit area, according to an airport source who spoke to RIA Novosti, after he failed to get on a Cuba-bound plane that he had been checked in for.
Meanwhile, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam, that his government’s officials “are analyzing with a lot of responsibility” Snowden’s asylum request, the RT state-run Russian television reported.