Friday, July 05, 2013
Russia is playing a balanced PR game in its decision to allow Edward Snowden to remain in the Moscow airport transit area. On the one hand, it is giving him ersatz asylum On the other, it is telling him to go publicly. It is tweaking the US and not in the same gesture. One would think that this cannot go on for many days more. How long can anyone stay trapped in one part of a building with all the difficulties of basic living? Perhaps Russia is betting that Snowden will give himself up and resolve the problem for everyone. Whatever the outcome, Putin is scoring perception points against the US without working too hard. The US looks powerless while more information leaks to the public and allies protest US spying. What more could Putin want? With just a little bit of maneuvering, he has gained a lot.