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Snowden: Moscow and Beijing strike back at US criticism

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Snowden: Moscow and Beijing strike back at US criticism

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The movements of Edward Snowden – a former NSA contractor who leaked classified information to the press – are fraying relations between Washington, Beijing and Moscow.

The US directed blame at Russia for allowing Snowden to fly to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23. He is believed to be in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremyetevo airport.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that the whistleblower had not entered Russian territory, saying: “He chose his route himself, and we learned, like everyone else, from the mass media. He didn’t cross the Russian border.”

“We think that all the attempts we see now – attempts to accuse Russia of violating US law, of conspiracy almost, accompanied by threats towards us – are completely unfounded and unacceptable,” Lavrov continued.

Washington also criticised Beijing – because Snowden was not stopped from departing Hong Kong.

But China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country had acted in full accordance with the law.

Snowden’s next stop is believed to be Ecuador – where the government of President Rafael Correa is considering offering him political asylum.