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In a new preview of Oliver Stone’s upcoming four-part docuseries, Russian President Vladimir Putin says the U.S.’ National Security Agency overstepped its bounds with its cybersecurity measures, but he doesn’t believe that whistleblower Edward Snowden is a traitor for leaking classified documents.
“Snowden is not a traitor. He didn’t betray the interests of his country, nor did he transfer any information to any other country,” Putin says through a translator in a clip from The Putin Interviews, which premieres June 12 on Showtime.
Just because Snowden is not a traitor in Putin’s eyes doesn’t mean the Russian leader agrees with his actions. When Stone asks Putin if the NSA “went too far,” Putin responds, “Yes, certainly. In that matter, Snowden was right.”
However, Putin explains, “If [Snowden] didn’t like anything at his work, he should have simply resigned. But he went further.”
Stone then asks Putin if he thinks the NSA “went too far,” to which Putin responds, ”Yes.” He goes on to explain that by comparison, Russia’s intelligence is “working quite well.”
“Our intelligence services always conform to the law,” he says. “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.”
The documentary was filmed over the course of four in-person interviews with Putin over the past two years.
The Putin Interviews premieres June 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT as part of a four-night event.
Watch the new trailer for the special below.
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