The few believed on Thursday morning that Edward Snowden would cross the Russian border finally. Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer consulting Snowden, dropped a hint on Wednesday that the decision would come out soon. But only a few journalists, constantly waiting outside Sheremetyevo, managed to see a document with their own eyes.
Snowden, accompanied by WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harisson, got into a taxi and went to his friends. Almost immediately, the information that VKontakte’s founder offered the fugitive to join the social network’s team, with a focus on data protection, appeared. But Snowden is busy with other things right now,Anatoly Kucherenasaid to the Voice of Russia on Friday:
"There are lots of offers. He hasn’t replied to anyone yet because he needs to adapt to new circumstances. He needs to forget about the nightmare he was living for a month because staying in the transit area and receiving all these threats from the US State Department is really stressful,”Kucherena added.
Now Snowden is under the protection of Russian law. Meanwhile, the US reacted harshly to the news amidst the situation with Bradley Manning’s guilty verdict. Journalists and human rights activists called this trial a rehearsal before Snowden’s trial.
The first comments made not the White House but MPs.US Senator for New York, a Democrat, Charles Schumer said that Russia "stabbed the US in the back” with their action.
A Republican, John McCain, expressed his thoughts in a less figurative way, suggesting that the US respond to Russia’s actions by means of NATO, missile defense and the Magnitsky Act.
The Obama administration commented in a more reserved manner. Jay Carney, White House spokesman, expressed his disappointment at this development and mentioned again the possibility of cancelling Obama’s visit to Moscow in the fall. At the same time, he underlined it would be wrong to forget about positive results of the Russian-US reload because of Snowden.
US State Department spokeswoman Marie Hurfalso made a sensible comment:
"Well, again, we continue to work, to talk to the Russian Government about this today, and we will in the future as well. In terms of whether that would be part of any such summit, we’re still reevaluating that right now. Well, I think we and President Putin himself have been clear that we don’t want this issue to broadly negatively affect our bilateral relationship, because as you said, there are places where we work together including in Afghanistan, with Iran sanctions, with reductions in our nuclear arms arsenals. So we’ve both been very clear that this is an example of something that we want to treat separately, that we don’t want it to adversely affect the whole relationship.”
Moscow doesn’t see any serious reasons to cancel Putin and Obama’s meeting. Russian Presidential AssiatantYuri Ushakovmade a comment on the situation as soon as he learned that Snowden left Sheremetyevo.
"We know the US reaction on our step, but there were no any signals from the US authorities. We believe this issue is not that important to affect our relations. President Putin said more than once that Russia has nothing to do with the whole situation. And he expressed his hope that it wouldn’t change the essence of our relations as we are interested in their development in all directions,”Ushakov said.
The US President refused to make comments on the Snowden affair.
While a heated controversy over Snowden’s case doesn’t stop, the fugitive himself continues to accustom to his new life in Russia.
He has already found a place to stay. Although it hasn’t been reported whether it’s a flat or a cottage in the suburbs, bloggers discuss actively the last variant.
Not a single journalist saw Snowden in the flesh. There are only two pictures of him on the Internet. They were taken by witnesses as Snowden was leaving the airport. He can’t help smiling on the photo.
There was a tweet from a fake Snowden account the same night saying he headed for a Moscow night club. Snowden himself refuses to give any interview at the moment in spite of promising to do that after getting temporary asylum.
Voice of Russia