Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has applied to extend his stay in Russia after year-long permit expires in July. Photograph: AFP/Getty
Update: Reuters reports “Russia will most probably extend former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s temporary asylum on the grounds that “his life is endangered”, an official close to the country’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) was quoted as saying on Friday.”
Anatoly Kucherena said the former National Security Agency contractor had made the application to Russia’s migration authorities because his one-year permit was due to expire at the end of July, according to Russian news agencies.
Kucherena refused to say what kind of migration status his client is seeking, saying that it is up to the federal migration service to make the decision.
Snowden got stranded at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport last year on his way from Hong Kong to Cuba, shortly after he revealed the NSA‘s sprawling use of phonetaps across the US and beyond. He received asylum in Russia, attracting the anger of the US.
Snowden has kept a low profile in Russia and his precise whereabouts are unknown. Kucherena insisted that the secrecy is necessary for Snowden’s protection.
A Kremlin-connected website has published several pictures of Snowden indicating that he either lives in Moscow or visits it often.
Snowden appeared on President Vladimir Putin’s call-in show in April when he asked a question about surveillance in a prerecorded video message.