Snowden applies for temporary asylum in Russia
Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia.
Snowden, wanted by the United States for revealing sensational details of its vast spying operations, is now spending a fourth week in the transit lounge at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport without crossing the Russian border.
“The application has been filed with the Russian authorities through the Federal Migration Service (FMS),” said prominent lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who has been in contact with Snowden.
“I have just left him,” he said after meeting the fugitive earlier Tuesday. Federal Migration Service officials declined to comment immediately.
Snowden flew into Russia from Hong Kong on June 23 and has since been marooned in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo.
He was checked in for an Aeroflot flight to Cuba on June 24 but never boarded the plane.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Snowden would leave Russia ‘as soon as he can,’ likening him to an unwanted gift. But he accused US of trapping the American in Moscow, saying no country wanted to take in Snowden due to US pressure.