08/26/13 - RTE.ie - Russian newspaper reports US whistleblower refused access to Cuba
The Kommersant newspaper said the reason was that at the last minute Cuba
told officials to stop Mr Snowden from boarding the Aeroflot flight.
It said Cuba had changed its mind after pressure by the United States,
which wants to try Mr Snowden on espionage charges.
The newspaper also said Mr Snowden had spent a couple of days in the
Russian consulate in Hong Kong to declare his intention of flying to Latin
America via Moscow.
"His choice of route and his plea to help were a complete surprise to us.
We did not invite him," Kommersant quoted a Russian state source as saying.
Reuters could not immediately verify the report. Allowing Mr Snowden to
land would have put Cuba's relations with the United States at risk.
Ties between the United States and Russia were strained when Moscow granted
Mr Snowden asylum.
Following the disagreement over Mr Snowden, US President Barack Obama
postponed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin planned for next
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