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Snowden A Prize For Russians -- Until They Have His Secrets

Publication Date: 
June 26, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Carol J. Williams

Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar is quoted by Carol J. Williams in the Chicago Tribune article on the international hurdles authorities face in bringing Edward Snowden back to the U.S. 

Now that Russian intelligence services have presumably gotten what they want from Edward Snowden — his treasure trove of U.S. intelligence data and the chance to embarrass the Obama administration — they are showing the National Security Agency leaker to the door.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that his security services weren’t working with the young American fugitive may have been semantically correct: Agents could copy Snowden’s confidential computer files without his cooperation, as he has been in their custody for days in a diplomatic no man’s land at Sheremetyevo airport.


International criminal, extradition and refugee laws converge in the Snowden case to complicate what might seem a simple request for deportation, said Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, a Stanford professor of international and national security law. But politics is the real impediment to resolving the standoff, he said, blaming the burdened relationship between Moscow and Washington.