Snowden will leave Russia as soon as he can: President Putin

GOGLAND ISLAND, Russia (Reuters/AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that United States intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, who has been stuck in a Moscow airport for three weeks, would leave Russia as soon as he is able to.

He also accused Washington of preventing the fugitive from leaving Russia after he arrived from Hong Kong on June 23.

"He arrived on our territory uninvited, he did not fly to us," Russian news agencies quoted Mr Putin as saying.

"They themselves scared off all the other countries, no one wants to take him, and therefore they essentially themselves trapped him on our territory," added the President, according to the agencies.

Mr Putin also said that he saw signs that Snowden was shifting towards stopping "political activity" directed against the US.

Mr Putin, who has previously refused to handle Snowden over to the US authorities, also said Snowden's situation remained unresolved after Washington had blocked further movements for him.