Edward Snowden latest: NSA whistleblower will stay in Moscow airport, says lawyer

US fugitive still awaiting papers allowing him to enter Russia while his request for asylum is being considered

Moscow

More than a month after his arrival at Moscow’s Sheremetevo Airport, Edward Snowden was handed a stack of clean shirts and a copy of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment by his Russian lawyer. However, papers allowing him to enter Russia while his request for asylum is being considered are still not ready, said the lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena.

It was widely expected that Mr Kucherena’s meeting with Mr Snowden would involve the handover of the papers which would allow the former NSA contractor to leave the airport and enter Russia. But Mr Kucherena said it was “misinformation” that the temporary clearance to leave the airport had been issued already. Given that a week ago he promised that the documents would indeed be ready, it is possible that high-level decisions are still being taken on what to do with Mr Snowden.

The whistleblower landed in Moscow on 23 June from Hong Kong and wanted to continue to Latin America, but was grounded at Sheremetevo after US authorities revoked his passport.

“I think the situation will be resolved shortly, but at this point I’m not ready to give you a specific date because I want to avoid confusion as much as possible,” said Mr Kucherena, who took a large brown bag with him to the meeting inside the transit zone at Sheremetevo.

He said he had given Mr Snowden several books, including novels by Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov, as well as a history of Russia. “I also gave him several shirts as he has been wearing the same clothes for a month,” said the lawyer.

President Vladimir Putin has said that Mr Snowden could be granted asylum in Russia if he promises to stop activities harmful to the US, but the White House has repeatedly demanded that Russia extraditehim to face charges at home. Mr Putin said this will “never” happen.

At a meeting with human rights activists a fortnight ago, Mr Snowden said he wanted “temporary asylum” in Russia while he makes plans to continue to another country.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have all said they would look favourably upon an asylum request. However, Mr Kucherena has said that Mr Snowden may now plan to settle in Russia and find work, and the whistleblower has already learnt some of the language of his potential new host country.

“Several days ago I gave him a textbook in Russian and today he said a few words to me in Russian,” Mr Kucherena said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Copywriter / Direct Response Copywriter

£20k plus sales linked bonus. : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Copywriter to j...

Recruitment Genius: Accounting Technician

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has bec...

Guru Careers: 3D Creative Designer

Up to £26k DOE: Guru Careers: A Junior / Mid-Level 3D Creative Designer is nee...

Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Website Digital Marketing Manager - Fashion / Retail

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You'll be joining a truly talen...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen