Moscow // The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has told the US that Russia would not yield to pressure to hand over Edward Snowden, while insisting he would not allow the fugitive American to poison ties between the former Cold War foes.
"We won't behave like many countries are behaving," Mr Putin said in the Siberian city of Chita, a day after the former US security contractor applied for temporary asylum in Russia.
"We are an independent country and we have an independent foreign policy and we will carry it out. I hope our partners understand this and respond calmly."
The Russian leader reiterated a demand that the 30-year-old American cease activities that would harm US-Russian relations.
Mr Snowden, whose efforts to find refuge in Latin America have been blocked by the US and its European allies, is willing to stop revealing secrets and accept all conditions to win asylum, according to a Russian lawyer advising him.
The fugitive, who exposed classified US programmes that collect telephone and internet data, lodged an application for temporary asylum yesterday at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where has been holed up in the transit area since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23.