Thursday, September 5, 2013

Putin accuses U.S. of 'lack of professionalism' in Snowden affair

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused U.S. intelligence services of a lack of professionalism for their failure to round up NSA leaker Edward Snowden, whose arrival and subsequent stay in Russia fractured U.S.-Russia relations in early August.

In an interview to Russia's state-run Channel One and The Associated Press published Wednesday, Putin responded to various questions about touchy subjects in U.S.-Russia relations.

When asked about Snowden, who found himself the world's most wanted fugitive after leaking top secret documents on U.S. surveillance programs, Putin said U.S. authorities could have grounded the plane that Snowden boarded to come to Moscow from China's Hong Kong just as they did with the plane of Bolivian leader Evo Morales after they suspected that Snowden was on board.

"They could have done that in relation to Snowden. What prevented them [from doing that]?" Putin said.

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