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Putin Defends Snowden’s Stopover, Rejects U.S. ‘Drivel’

Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to extradite fugitive Edward Snowden as the Obama administration maintained that officials in Moscow have a legal basis to return him to the U.S.

Russia was “completely surprised” by the arrival of Snowden, who remained in a Moscow airport transit zone after traveling from Hong Kong on June 23, Putin told reporters in Finland yesterday. Snowden, who faces U.S. espionage charges, can’t be handed over because the two nations don’t have an extradition treaty, Putin said.