Support The Moscow Times!

Snowden Did Not Betray U.S. Interests, Says Putin

Marco Garcia / AP

U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden did not betray his country's interests by releasing details on state surveillance programs, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with American director Oliver Stone, Putin said that Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia in 2013, “was not a traitor.”

“[Snowden] didn’t betray the interests of his country, nor did he transfer any information to any other country," Putin said in fragments of the interview released by Hollywood Reporter.

The Russian president said he did not support Snowden's actions, but agreed that U.S. surveillance had "gone too far." 

"Trying to spy on your allies, if you really consider them allies and not vassals, is just indecent. Because it undermines trust. And it means that in the end, it deals damage to your own national security,” Putin said.

Putin was also quick to defend his own intelligence services. “[They] always conform to the law,” he said.

The full interview is set to be aired on U.S. television channel Showtime on June 12-15.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.