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Moscow says US has ignored 5 Russian extradition demands in recent years

22 August 2013 2:00

Moscow says US has ignored 5 Russian extradition demands in recent years

A senior Russian judiciary official has revealed that the US has left unanswered five of Russia’s extradition requests in the past few years, amid a row between the two nations over the extradition of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“Since 2008, the United States has refused 16 times to extradite people to us citing the absence of a relevant treaty,” said Deputy Russian Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev in an interview with government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta as cited in Wednesday report by RIA Novosti.

“We have been insisting on concluding such a treaty but have been getting a refusal based on unconvincing arguments,” he added. “Another five of our requests sent to the United States in 2011-2012 have not been answered.”

The development comes as the US has been unsuccessfully pressing Russia for the extradition of the fugitive American intelligence contractor who exposed massive American electronic spying operations worldwide after years of working for US spy agencies, the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Snowden is wanted by Washington on alleged espionage and various other charges after he provided Western journalists with classified documents detailing NSA’s extensive surveillance of online communications of both hostile and friendly countries.

Snowden formally applied for temporary asylum in Russia on July 16, while Washington repeatedly urged Moscow to reject the request and instead extradite him back to the US for criminal prosecution, but to no avail.

Snowden was eventually granted political asylum in Russia earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Zvyagintsev further revealed that Moscow has not received any formal request by Washington for Snowden’s extradition.

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