Moscow, Jul 16 – Former U.S. Intelligence agent Edward Snowden has officially requested temporary asylum in Russia, said lawyer Anatoli Kucherena today after meeting with Snowden at the airport in this capital.
“He filled the application for temporary asylum with my help because he needs advise in juridical and legislative terms. Due to his condition, I met with him for a consultation,” said the lawyer.
Snowden has stayed in Russia since late June and he has been imposible for him to travel because the U.S. government blocked his passport, accuses him of spying and wants his extradition.
Few weeks ago, the former U.S. National Security Agency employee uncovered ther existence of a Washington’s program to spy millions of people through the Internet and phone communications, revelations that have caused a huge stir worldwide. After requesting asylum in various countries, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua granted asylum to Snowden, but due to the impossibility to travel, he decided to request a temporal asylum in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that as soon as the young man has the possibility, he will travel to other countries, and accused the U.S. of keeping Snowden cornered in Russia.
Putin added that Snowden flew to Moscow intending only to transit to another country, but that the U.S. blocked himfrom flying further.
Snowden previously had sought Russian asylum, which Putin said would be granted only if he agreed not to leak more information. Snowden then withdrew the bid because he said he wanted to continue fighting for human rights.
Source: Prensa Latina