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Russia Criticizes EU States For Delaying Bolivian President's Plane

Morales Back In Bolivia After Snowden Dramai
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July 04, 2013
Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived home late on July 3 and was greeted by his cabinet and cheering, fist-pumping crowds at La Paz's airport after a dramatic journey from Moscow that ignited a diplomatic furor when his plane had to make an unscheduled stop in Vienna because of apparent fears in Europe that his plane was carrying fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden. (Reuters video)
WATCH: Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived home late on July 3 and was greeted by his cabinet and cheering, fist-pumping crowds at La Paz's airport after a dramatic journey from Moscow that ignited a diplomatic furor when his plane had to make an unscheduled stop in Vienna because of apparent fears in Europe that his plane was carrying fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden. (Reuters video)

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Bolivian officials say Morales's plane was abruptly denied entry into the airspace of France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. The plane was rerouted to Austria after refueling in Spain.
Russia has criticized France, Spain, and Portugal for delaying the Bolivian president's flight home from Moscow over suspicions that fugitive former U.S. intelligence employee Edward Snowden was on board.

President Evo Morales was able to fly home on July 3 only after a forced stopover in Austria because of the airspace flap.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the actions of the three countries "could hardly be considered friendly actions towards Bolivia."

ON A LIGHTER NOTE: Snowden's Exile Options

The Bolivian government has claimed the U.S. government was behind the incident.

Morales told supporters gathered at the airport upon his return home that some European countries should free themselves from the United States.

Heads of state in the 12-nation South American bloc Unasur denounced the "unfriendly and unjustifiable acts" and called a summit in Bolivia to discuss the matter.

President Barack Obama has warned giving Snowden asylum would carry serious costs.

Based on reporting by Reuters and ITAR-TASS

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