Bolivia rejected a U.S. request to extradite former security contractor Edward Snowden should he approach that country, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.
Bolivia's foreign ministry released a statement Wednesday calling the extradition request "strange, illegal, unfounded" and asserting that President Evo Morales never spoke with Snowden while he was in Russia, according to Bloomberg.
Morales appeared on Bolivian television after returning Wednesday night to La Paz from Vienna, Austria, where his plane had been diverted.
“This is an open provocation to the continent, not just the president,” Morales said in his remarks, as quoted by Bloomberg. “They will never intimidate us, never make us afraid because we are a unified and sovereign people.”
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Wednesday that U.S. officials had contacted countries Snowden may approach for asylum or transit through en route to a third country, providing "reasons why Mr. Snowden should be returned to the United States and face charges," according to Bloomberg.