NSA whistleblower’s request for asylum has been received by authorities, but he could be in for a three month wait.
Russian authorities confirmed today that Edward Snowden’s request for asylum has been received, according to reports.
A spokeswoman for Russia’s Federal Migration Service confirmed to Russia Today that the application had been received and would be reviewed within three months.
The Associated Press reported that Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on Russian television that Snowden was requesting asylum because “he faces persecution by the U.S. government and he fears for his life and safety, fears that he could be subjected to torture and capital punishment.”
The former NSA analyst has been living in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since June 23. Technically, the transit zone is outside of Russia so the country has little authority on his status in the zone.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been less than enthusiastic about Snowden’s appearance in his country as Putin has stated publicly that Snowden’s presence in Russia could harm US-Russian relations on the eve of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg. During a press conference, Putin said that he understood Snowden intended to travel to a third country after leaving Moscow but can’t due to the US revoking his passport.
“Such a present to us. Merry Christmas,” Russian television quotes Putin as saying.