There were reports on Wednesday that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had been granted a temporary document to enter Russia, where he would remain for the foreseeable future. However, new reports out of Europe have denied the claim.
According to Irishtimes.com:
“Edward Snowden’s monthlong stay at Moscow airport appeared no closer to ending yesterday after reports that the U.S. whistle-blower had been permitted to stay temporarily elsewhere in Russia were denied.
“Mr. Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said, following a meeting with the former U.S. intelligence contractor, that contrary to local reports, his client had not received a certificate allowing him to stay inside Russia while the authorities considered his request for temporary asylum.
“Mr. Kucherena said he still hoped Mr. Snowden (30), who is wanted by the U.S. on espionage charges for leaking details of sweeping U.S. surveillance of phone and Internet use, would be granted asylum.
“‘I must say he is of course anxious about it and I hope that this situation will be resolved soon in the nearest future,’ Kucherena said.”
Snowden Asylum Offer?
As reported by the BBC:
“The lawyer’s account contradicted that of airport officials, who earlier told local media that the lawyer had handed Mr. Snowden the documents he needed to leave the airport.
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“It was unclear whether there had been last-minute political intervention or some other problem.
“The Interfax news agency quoted unnamed officials as saying the American would be provided with new clothes before leaving the airport.
“After the lawyer’s news conference, the White House said it wanted clarity from Russia on Snowden’s status.
“[White House] spokesman Jay Carney said Washington had already made it clear to Moscow that Mr. Snowden should be handed over to face espionage charges.
“The Snowden affair has caused diplomatic ructions around the world, upsetting America’s close allies and traditional enemies.
“Leaks by the former CIA worker have led to revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency is collecting Americans’ phone records.”