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Snowden granted temporary asylum in Russia
August 1, 2013, 1:08 pm

Edward Snowden

Russia is currently considering the whistleblower’s request for asylum [AP]

US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, according to his legal representative Anatoly Kucherena.

His lawyer said Snowden had received the necessary papers to enter Russian territory.

“I have just delivered documents from the Russian Federal Migrant Service. He can now leave the transit zone,” the Interfax news agency quoted Kucherena as saying.

Kucherena then revealed that Snowden had left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport where the fugitive has been staying since June, but added that his present location would not be disclosed.

“I hope you will treat this vague information with understanding…the safety issue is a very serious one for him,” the lawyer said.

Russia is currently considering the whistleblower’s request for asylum.

A Russian migration official previously said that Snowden could remain in the transit area for several months.

Snowden has been charged by the United States for leaking classified information from its surveillance programmes.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin said Snowden could stay in Russia provided he “stop his work directed at hurting our American partners”. Snowden signalled he would comply with such requirements.

The US demanded that Russia send the fugitive home to face prosecution, but President Putin dismissed the request.

Relations between the two former rivals have already been strained by their different approaches to resolving the Syrian civil war.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told Interfax that Moscow is aware of the atmosphere created in the US over Snowden, but has not received “any signals” regarding the cancelation of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Russia in September.

Source: Agencies

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