Former National Security Agency intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s temporary Russian asylum expires Thursday, and the leaker’s request for an extension has yet to be approved.
“Edward still remains in Russia and we have prepared and submitted a package of documents asking for the permission of a temporary political asylum for him,” Snowden Russian attorney Anatoly Kucherena said according to Russian news outlet ITAR-TASS.
“I see no problem in prolonging the temporary asylum,” Vladimir Volokh, head of an advisory body to Russia’s Federal Migration Service, told the Interfax news agency earlier this month. “The circumstances have not changed. As before, Snowden’s life is endangered so the FMS has grounds to extend his status.”
Kucherena explained the FMS is following standard procedures in reviewing Snowden’s application. The attorney made no mention of other options Snowden may consider, or if he’ll eventually seek full Russian citizenship.
“We hope that the issue will be resolved today or tomorrow,” Kucherena said.
Snowden was granted one year of asylum on Aug. 1, 2013 after leaking a cache of classified NSA intelligence documents to reporters, flying out of Hong Kong and landing Russia. After identifying Snowden as the leaker, the U.S. State Department canceled his passport, stranding him in Moscow. The Obama administration has since leveled multiple espionage charges against the leaker.
Over the last year Snowden has reportedly obtained a website maintenance job, and is living in an undisclosed location in Moscow.
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