While we wait for Star Wars, it appears that Edward Snowden has applied for asylum status in Russia. I’m not all together suprised given the amount of time he’s been camping out at the hotel airport (this reminded me of the movie The Terminal with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones).
Here’s where things get interesting (or will get interesting over the next few days). Various media outlets have reported that Russian President, and all around tough-guy, Vladmir ‘The Action Man’ Putin has said:
If he wants to go somewhere and there are those who would take him, he is welcome to do that,” Putin said. “If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: he must stop his activities aimed at inflicting damage to our American partners, no matter how strange it may sound on my lips.
At first glance, it is strange. It’s no big secret that the U.S. and Russia are not bossom buddies (case in point: their respective positions on the Syrian crisis). But Putin’s position above is enough to cause the Americans further outrage.
I can see it now: somewhere in a dark, gloomy, Soviet-era building, an old Soviet-era politician/military man is knocking back a vodka, either by himself or with a few friends, and having a good laugh.
The fact that members of the European Union (and U.S. allies) have also been spied upon, unbeknownst to the E.U., only adds fuel to the fire. I’m certain that the Russian big-wigs are having a grand ol’ time with this.
What’s next? My guess is that Snowden will follow Putin’s condition(s) to the letter. That is, he himself won’t be doing any further leaking. If however Snowden’s “allies” (WikiLeaks maybe?) decide to publish further details, details previously provided by Snowden, then that’s a different matter. His (Snowden) hands are clean, it was a third party.
The next few days will be interesting for all concerned. Snowden in particular should probably download Google Translate and start brushing up on his Russian.