National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia and has not ruled out applying for full citizenship as well, according to a Russian lawyer who’s helped Mr. Snowden with his application.
“There shouldn’t be a problem because those grounds which he has indicated, why he has applied to us, are convincing enough,” Anatoly Kucherena told The Telegraph. “And America shouldn’t regard our humanitarian act as an unfriendly one.”
The lawyer went on to say that Snowden has no plans to leave Russia anytime soon, and he “does not exclude the possibility of requesting Russian citizenship.”
Snowden has been stuck in legal limbo in the Moscow airport since flying in from Hong Kong June 23. His passport was revoked and the Department of Justice issued an extradition request for the controversial whistle-blower, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has so far ruled out handing him over.
Putin did say, however, that Snowden would only be allowed to stay if he stopped leaking classified material. “We warned Mr Snowden that any activity which harms Anglo-American relations is unacceptable to us,” Putin said. “Bilateral relations, in my opinion, are far more important than squabbles about the activities of the secret services.”