Russia will never hand NSA leaker Edward Snowden over to the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday, but also unless Snowden "stops his work aimed at harming our American partners" he won't be allowed to stay in Russia. So... that's Sheremetyevo Airport for the foreseeable future, then?
Putin's seemingly contradictory statements came quickly after a statement from President Obama that the two leaders had directed their law-enforcement agencies to work together on a solution for the NSA leaker, currently killing time in the transit section of Moscow's airport, unable to leave without a passport (the U.S. revoked his) or refugee papers (which Russia hasn't granted).
One way out: According to a Russian official, 15 lucky countries will reportedly soon receive Bachelor roses/appeals for asylum from Snowden. One may be Russia; another is probably Iceland; and a third is likely to be Ecuador—Snowden's original destination, until statements from the country's president indicated that it might not be as hospitable to the ex-contractor as he'd hoped.
At least part of his legal team believed Hong Kong represented the best option to protect their client's safety and interests, one of the people familiar with his case said. Mr. Snowden, though, was getting a different message from WikiLeaks. On June 12, Mr. Snowden through an intermediary asked the antisecrecy organization to help him seek asylum in Iceland, WikiLeaks said on June 19. In the days after his approach, WikiLeaks asked other governments about asylum possibilities on Mr. Snowden's behalf.