It appears the Russian authorities are not that impressed that the US whistleblower Edward Snowden is still camped out in their airport.
Snowden has been loitering in duty free every since he fled to Russia to avoid extradition from Hong Kong. Russia offered him asylum if he agreed to shut up and stop embarrassing governments around the world, but he said no.
Now Russia is saying that Snowden should find another country to seek refuge in.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Reuters that Russia had received no request for political asylum from Snowden and he had to solve his problems himself after 11 days in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
Moscow said that Snowden is an increasingly unwelcome guest because the longer he stays, the greater the risk of the diplomatic standoff causing lasting damage to relations with Washington.
Ryabkov said that Snowden needs to choose a place to go. Ryabkov told the Itar-Tass news agency separately that Russia “cannot solve anything for him” and the situation should now be resolved “one way or the other”.
France and Italy said they had rejected asylum requests from Snowden.
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said any asylum request would have to be presented in person at the border or on Italian territory, which Snowden had not done. Of course if he was a former Prime Minister who has been found guilty of underage sex and corruption, then the Italians would go to war to keep him out of jail.