National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has delivered his most trenchant criticism yet of the Russian government, describing it unequivocally as "corrupt".
His comments mean the proposed US-Russia summit in Helsinki on 16 July is potentially risky for him if Donald Trump was to request Vladimir Putin to hand him over.
Snowden is wanted in the US on three charges under the Espionage Act, carrying a minimum of 10 years each in jail. Putin could balance the propaganda value of having Snowden in Russia against providing Trump with an easy gift.
In an interview with the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung Snowden, who has lived in Russia since 2013, said: "The Russian government is corrupt in many ways, that's something the Russian people realize.