I've come to the conclusion that Putin and Obama have reached some kind of deal. Putin is getting something he wants in exchange for agreeing to neither overtly help Snowden to get to another country nor requiring that Russia hand him over directly to US authorities. I have believed for years that George W. Bush botched the relationship between the US and Russia by being unable to understand the concept of quid pro quo. See, Bush believed that people should just do the right thing because it was right, not because they were going to get anything in return. This is a big part of why Poland, Bulgaria and Ukraine quickly jumped in to provide troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They thought they were going to get visa free US travel in exchange. They pulled out when they realized that Bush was literally incapable of understanding that he owed them something in return. Putin somehow got burned by this too, although I have no idea what he wanted, and he has not forgotten it. Russia isn't going to provide any travel docs to Snowden, offer him asylum in Russia or hand him over to the USA. Venezuela won't send a ship because it fears that the US would just board it or maybe even sink it in international waters. My guess is that Venezuela will offer him a travel document that the Russians will accept, at which point they'll casually mention to their American friends "Oh by the way, Snowden is on flight XXX bound for Venezuela. Here's the flight path." and the US may plan an interception over international waters once it leaves European airspace. The Russians will then claim publicly that they are shocked, yes shocked, at this violation of international air space, which provides the plausible deniability they need.