Responding to Secretary of State John Kerry’s request that Moscow transfer NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden to American custody, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Snowden is in the transit area of Moscow’s airport and therefore not technically in Russia.

According to the BBC, the Russian president says that Snowden is free, but, paraphrasing, “the sooner he chose a destination the better.”

The AP reports that Putin denied the notion that Russia wants to hold on to Snowden for debriefing. “Our special services never worked with Mr. Snowden and aren’t working with him today,” said the Russian president.

Kerry gently pushed the Russian government to hand over Snowden, noting that the United States had sent seven people to Russia in the last two years, “without any rancor.”

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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