MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) – Former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for leaking secret state surveillance programs, has denied supplying information to the Russian or Chinese governments, according to a report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
"I never gave any information to either government, and they never took anything from my laptops," Snowden said as part of interviews conducted Tuesday and Saturday with the Guardian.
The comments from Snowden are the first time the fugitive intelligence contractor has spoken publicly since he arrived in Moscow on a June 30 flight from Hong Kong.
The interviews with Snowden, 30, were conducted online via a “secured chat channel,” Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who spoke with him, told RIA Novosti. Greenwald is closely linked with Snowden, and was one of the original few journalists to whom Snowden leaked information.
The presence of Snowden in both Hong Kong, a part of China, and Russia has prompted much speculation that he may be cooperating with the security services of the two countries.
President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia’s intelligence agencies never worked with Snowden and were not working with him during his stay at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Wikileaks, whose representative Sarah Harrison is reportedly accompanying Snowden, has also denied that Snowden was giving information to Russian officials.
Snowden, whose passport has been revoked by the US, is wanted by Washington on charges of espionage and property theft.
Despite the efforts of dozens of reporters who have scoured Sheremetyevo, Snowden has not appeared in public, or spoken to journalists, since his arrived in Moscow.
But Russian officials have repeatedly said that Snowden, who reportedly does not have a Russian visa, remains in the Moscow airport.
“Mr. Snowden is in the transit zone on the basis of international law,” Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told journalists on Wednesday.