Edward Snowden seeks political asylum in Russia
Edward Snowden is facing increasing pressure to find a temporary haven from U.S. authorities since his arrival in Moscow, Russia nearly a week ago. With Ecuador’s asylum acceptance still unanswered, Snowden and his legal advisors are now looking to the Russian government for help.
The Russian press is reporting that Snowden has formally filed for political asylum in Russia on Monday, but the Kremlin has not issued a response thus far. According to reports, WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harrison handed over Snowden’s request for political asylum to a Russian messenger, who then passed it to a Foreign Ministry’s messenger.
Vladimir Putin has openly stated that he does not want to house Snowden as it will complicate things for both Russia as well as the American fugitive. However, Putin also hinted on Monday that there’s a possibility that Russia can accommodate Snowden if “he stops damaging the U.S. partners.”
“Snowden is not our agent. Neither does he cooperate with us, nor do we work with him,” Putin added.
The U.S. has canceled Snowden’s passport, and he is currently in self-confinement in Moscow’s airport transit zone. Ecuador states that Snowden’s asylum request can take weeks, and his bid for Russian support is not on the Kremlin’s agenda according to a spokesperson.