Edward Snowden is requesting temporary asylum in Russia as he awaits a safe passage to Latin America, where he will then request long-term refuge.
Snowden has been held up in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport’s transit area for close to three weeks.
Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena publicized Snowden’s request and told CNN he was present when the written application was turned over to the Federal Migration Service representative at the airport.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Snowden will not be allowed refuge unless he agrees to “stop his work aimed at harming our American partners.” Snowden has repeatedly said that he is not trying to cause future harm to the United States and that he is just seek temporary protection before heading to Latin America.
The United States is worried that Snowden still poses a major threat to national security. The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, who has worked closely with Snowden, told an Argentine newspaper that these documents are said to provide explicit details on the government’s use of software to reveal people’s private information “without [them] consciously agreeing to surrender their rights to privacy.”
“The U.S. government should be on their knees every day praying that nothing happens to Snowden, because if something happens, all information will be revealed and that would be their worst nightmare,” Greenwald threatened.
If Russian officials do not permit Snowden’s asylum request, the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia have said he is welcome to make the request in their countries, as did Nicaragua “if circumstances permit.”