|Snowden faces several charges in US
The lawyer for Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistle blower, has confirmed that his client has applied to extend his stay in Russia. He sought temporary asylum in the country after fleeing the US in May 2013. The NSA contractor faces charges in the US for leaking details of mass government surveillance.
According to Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden¡¦s lawyer, official paperwork has been submitted to Russia¡¦s federal Migration Service, asking for an extension of Edward Snowden¡¦s visa.
His one year permit allowing him to stay in Russia ends on the 31st of July, so that expiry date is looming.
His lawyer has refused to say how long Snowden has asked to stay in Russia, nor whether he is looking to receive Russian citizenship.
The NSA whistleblower was stranded at a Moscow airport last year on his way from Hong Kong to Cuba. His asylum in Russia has angered the US, as it is seeking his extradition, so that he can stand trial for charges against him relating to the leaking of the National Security agencies use of phonetaps, which sparked an international scandal.
Since arriving in Russia he has kept relatively a low profile, whether he will be granted an extension of asylum is now in the hands of the migration service.
If they do decide to extend Snowden¡¦s stay, it¡¦s a move that will likely further anger the US and further damage the relationship between Moscow and Washington. --Xinhua