Will Russia try to strike some deal? Edward Snowden for…?

Is it anything, in your opinion, Russia may consider ask the US for Snowden’s extradition, any “good deal” for Moscow and would White House consider such offer? Or, basically, for Kremlin is the situation quite fine as it is? Read few comments.

Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

While President Vladimir Putin and Russian government have repeatedly demonstrated their preference for transactional approach in relations with other countries, I believe they will make an exception in this case. It’s not only too high-profile to attempt a trade-off behind the scenes, but senior Russian officials have publicly stated that their country will consider Snowden’s request for asylum if he submits one. Given this, any trade-off would cause more damage to Russia’s reputation than Russia can reasonably hope to get in return for extraditing Snowden, especially given that Russia insists there are no legal grounds for doing so and Putin has already made it clear that Russia won’t extradite Snowden to U.S. As I understand, Snowden has not been yet put on Interpol’s wanted list. Nor has there been an extradition request filed we know of.

Steven PiferSenior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

I believe the Snowden affair is a distraction for U.S.-Russian relations, which hopefully will soon blow over.

I question the wisdom of the U.S. government devoting so much energy to asking the Russian government to arrest and extradite Snowden back to the United States. There is zero chance that Moscow will do that. And one might ask what would happen in the reverse situation: if a Russian intelligence officer had leaked information about Russian intelligence activities and was in or was transiting the United States, would the U.S. government respond favorably to a Russian request for his arrest and extradition?

Gerard Toal (Gearóid Ó Tuathail), Professor & Director, Government and International Affairs, Virginia Tech

I think there is lots of hypocrisy all around on the Snowden affair. China, Russia and the United States spy on their citizens in the name of security and protection. Getting the balance right between privacy and security is particularly difficult in open political systems. The US’s national security state has always been treated with suspicion by some. Snowden’s actions have deepened that suspicion and rekindled debate significantly the right balance between civil liberties and state security. I don’t know what Russia will do but I would hope that they see it in their interest to cooperate with US law enforcement efforts in this case


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