Russian spooks have gotten their hands on Snowden now. That’s evident from his not being observed at the Sheremetsyevo airport by journalists.

Once Snowden arrived at Sheremetyevo, this became for the Russians a game played against the USG. The object of the game is whether the USG gets to capture Snowden. Russia is going to do everything in its power to keep USG from getting its hands on Snowden.

Snowden was initially meant to go to Ecuador. Now, Ecuador is apparently having second thoughts about giving him asylum, because the USG is threatening to penalize it economically if it takes Snowden in.

Putin has made clear that he intends to protect Snowden. However, if no other country but Russia is going to give Snowden sanctuary, so that Snowden has to stay in Russia, Russia will in effect require Snowden to defect. That means that he would be expected to cooperate with open-ended interrogation by the FSB about everything he knows about the American intelligence “community”.

To me, this means that the USG should stop threatening Ecuador, and not do anything to impede Snowden leaving Russia.