MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin says that National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia, something he says Snowden doesn't want to do.
Putin, speaking at a news conference Monday, insisted that Snowden isn't a Russian agent and that Russian security agencies haven't contacted him.
He says that Snowden considers himself a rights activist, a "new dissident" and compared him to Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov.
Snowden has been caught in legal limbo in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport where he arrived from Hong Kong. The U.S. has annulled his passport.
Putin wouldn't say if any of the leaders of gas exporting nations attending a summit in Moscow could offer Snowden shelter.