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Moscow says no Snowden extradition request from U.S.

Russia has not received extradition request for fugitive U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden from the United States, the Justice Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry did receive a letter from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder explaining some aspects of the U.S. position on the status of Snowden, the Interfax news agency quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

"This document did not contain requests for the extradition or deportation of this individual," the statement said.

Russian business daily Kommersant reported earlier that Washington has sent an official document to Moscow requesting Snowden's extradition.

U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said Thursday in his Twitter account that the United States does not ask Russia to extradite Edward Snowden but just wants him returned.

The White House said Wednesday that the United States was seeking an explanation from the Russian authorities on the status of Snowden, who has stayed in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow for a month.

White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated Washington's position that there is "ample precedent and legal justification" for Moscow to hand over Snowden to face charges in the United States for "unauthorized leaking of highly classified information. "

[Source: Xinhua, Moscow, 25Jul13]

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Privacy and counterintelligence
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