The leaker’s options for safe haven are vanishing:
Russian officials say Snowden withdrew his request for asylum in their country after President Vladimir Putin warned Snowden that he would have to stop harming American interests. He’s already lost Ecuador, too, which now says they regret trying to help at all. On Tuesday morning, India flat out said no, adding “we see no reason to accede to the request.” The extra ‘We’re suppposed to be allies with the United States, by the way’ was unsaid, but probably implied. And just moments ago, Brazil joined the chorus of negatives, by officially choosing to ignore him.
Joshua Tucker ponders Putin’s apparent gesture of goodwill to the US:
I wonder if Putin has found himself in a bit of a bind. Snowden has become quite popular in Russia – not the least because he probably was a great tool for the regime to bolster its claim of the US as a threat to Russian national security, Putin’s protestations to the contrary notwithstanding – but I wonder if Putin is beginning to have second thoughts about having someone around long term who has made his name arguing that regimes shouldn’t monitor the online behavior of their citizens ….
Julia Ioffe isn’t too surprised:
What? Since when does Russia make people stop “inflicting damage on our American partners”? Is it a violation of Russia’s America-baiting monopoly?
Unlikely. As I’ve written before, Russia—well, Putin—is not hostile to the U.S. when it thinks the U.S. finds itself in a position with which it can empathize. For example, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Putin was the first to reach out to the U.S., just as he was the first world leader to call George W. Bush on 9/11. Russia has an insurgency and terrorist training camps on its own terroritory, and has been battling these guys for well over a decade. And it sees terrorism as a universal, largely undiferentiated foe, so it is in its interests to link up its efforts with the U.S. in fighting it. Thus, we’ve seen an unprecedented level of cooperation in counter-terrorism activities between the two countries, as well as in places like Afghanistan.