Russian President Vladimir Putin believes Edward Snowden's explosive 2013 release of the National Security Agency documents was morally "wrong" – but not treason.
In newly released clips that are part of "The Putin Interviews" to air on Showtime on June 12, Putin tells filmmaker Oliver Stone that Snowden "shouldn't have done it."
"If he didn't like anything at his work, he should have simply resigned," Putin tells Stone. "But he went further. That's his right. But since you are asking me whether it's right or wrong, I think it's wrong."
Earlier in the interview, Putin said Snowden had not taken any actions against the United States during – or after – the confidential leaks.
"Snowden is not a traitor," Putin said. "He didn't betray the interest of his country. Nor did he transfer any information to any other country which would have been pernicious to his own country or to his own people."
Also in the interview, Putin said Russian intelligence suffers from problems he implied he saw with the NSA.
"Our intelligence services always conform to the law," he said. "That's the first thing. And secondly, trying to spy on your allies if you really consider them allies and not vassals is just indecent. Because it undermines trust. And it means that in the end it deals damage to your own national security."
Stone is best known as the director of "Wall Street" and "Natural Born Killers." He also directed the 2016 movie "Snowden."
The former NSA contractor currently lives in exile in Russia for leaking secrets that divulged the agency's international bulk surveillance operations.
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