Snowden has not yet applied for asylum to Russian Federal Migration Service

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Snowden has not yet applied for asylum to Russian Federal Migration Service
Published 13-07-2013, 13:12
Former CIA employee Edward Snowden has not yet filed an appeal for asylum with the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS), says FMS chief Konstantin Romodanovsky.

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"At the present time, there have been no applications from Snowden," Romodanovsky told Interfax on Saturday. "If we receive an application, it will be considered in due process of law," Romodanovsky said.

Meeting with Russian rights groups at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Friday, Snowden said he could not fly to Latin America and was going to seek asylum in Russia.

He is currently stuck at the airport's transit area.

Russian authorities have no contact with Showden - Lavrov

"We have no contacts with Snowden. The issues he discussed yesterday with Russian [rights] defenders were extensively covered by the media, and I learned about them just as anybody else," Lavrov said.

"To be granted political asylum, Russian law presumes a certain procedure, and the first step is the filing of an application with the Federal Migration Service," Lavrov told journalists on Saturday in commenting on Snowden's statements he made on Friday.

Former CIA employee Edward Snowden should address the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) if he wants to be granted political asylum in Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Putin and Obama discussed the Snowden situation by phone

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama discussed by the phone bilateral cooperation, security issues and the situation around former CIA employee Edward Snowden, said Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama have discussed by phone urgent bilateral relations issues as well as the situation around fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the Kremlin said Saturday.

"On the initiative of the American side, the two presidents had a telephone conversation. Putin and Obama exchanged views on bilateral cooperation and security topics. They also discussed the situation around Snowden,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said without giving any details of the talks.

The White House later issued a similar statement, confirming the talks but avoiding elaboration on the issue.

Earlier White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration had been communicating with nations around the world that the United States would like Snowden, who has divulged classified information about secret surveillance programs, to be returned to face charges in the United States.

Snowden has been in limbo at a Moscow airport since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23.

Asked what the implications would be if Russia granted Snowden asylum, Carney said "providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian government's previous declarations of Russia's neutrality."

He said it was "also incompatible with Russian assurances that they do not want Mr. Snowden to further damage U.S. interests."

In Moscow, Putin's spokesman repeated earlier conditions that Snowden should stop harming the interests of the United States if he wants asylum.

'Snowden officially asks Russia for political asylum' – Russian MP Nikonov

Edward Snowden has officially asked the Russian government for political asylum, reports the Russian MP Vyacheslav Nikonov who participated in the meeting of human rights activists with the ex-CIA contractor earlier on Friday.

"Mr Snowden said he had officially applied for political asylum in Russia,” Mr Nikonov said after the meeting.

Anatoly Kucherena, the Russian Public Chamber member and a lawyer, confirmed that Edward Snowden sent an official request for political asylum in Russia.

"He said he had written and handed in an application form by himself,” Mr Kucherena added, not specifying the way it had been done.

Ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden met representatives of Russian human rights organizations, of the UN office in Moscow and prominent Russian lawyers in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport on Friday evening.

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden said he would submit a request on Friday for asylum to Russia, where he intends to stay until he can travel to Latin America.

"I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably," Snowden told human rights activists whom he had invited to a Moscow airport for a closed door meeting.

According to a transcript of his remarks, Snowden asked the activists for assistance in securing his asylum in Russia until he is able to travel, the anti-secrecy organisation said on its web site.

Edward Snowden has been in the transit zone at Sheremetyevo airport for three weeks so far, not being able to fly away as his US passport had been annulled.

US embassy called to participants of meeting with Edward Snowden before its start – Kostina

The US embassy called to participants of a meeting with ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden before its start and asked them to pass on to Snowden the message that he was not a whistleblower, but a criminal, the Civic Chamber member Olga Kostina reported.

"The US embassy called some of us and asked to pass on to Snowden the message that he was not a whistleblower, but a criminal,” Olga Kostina said to journalists after the meeting.

According to her, Mr Snowden was very grateful to Latin American countries, but, referring to the Bolivian president’s plane incident, said he realized he couldn’t fly there, so "at the moment Russia is the best option for him”.

Edward Snowden, who had revealed details of US secret service spying on its citizens and other countries’ officials, flew the US and arrived in Moscow on 23 June. He has reportedly been in the transit zone at Sheremetyevo airport since that time, seeking a country which would grant him asylum.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua gave their consent to grant him asylum.

Yesterday Edward Snowden sent an email to different Russian human rights organizations, to the UN office in Moscow and to prominent Russian lawyers, inviting them to meet him in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.

Mr Snowden is reported to have asked Russia for political asylum during the meeting.

Snowden hopes asylum in Russia will give him freedom of movement

Ex-CIA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden will remain at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for some time and he does not intend to fly to Latin America, a participant in Snowden's meeting with Russian rights campaigners said.

"He said he needs political asylum in Russia in order to gain freedom of movement. He is satisfied with his being in the airport, because everything is going well there. The only thing he seeks is freedom of movement," she said.

Snowden asks for political asylum in Russia - meeting's participant

US fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden requested political asylum in Russia, one of the participants of the meeting at Sheremetyevo airport said.

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden on Friday told a group of activists in a meeting at a Moscow airport that he wanted to claim asylum in Russia because he is unable to fly on anywhere else.

Human Rights Watch representative Tanya Lokshina told the Interfax news agency that Snowden told participants "he wants to stay here" while public chamber state advisory body member Olga Kostina said that Snowden would request asylum in Russia.

Snowden "wants to stay here and cannot fly to Latin America for the time being," Tatyana Lokshina, a deputy head of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, said.

Snowden asked the rights activists attending the meeting to help him obtain asylum in Russia, she said.

"Yes, it's about asylum in Russia," Lokshina said when asked whether Snowden had asked for help.

Snowden makes personal invitations to meeting at Sheremetyevo - airport spokesperson

Former CIA agent Edward Snowden personally made a list of those invited to meet him at the Sheremetyevo Airport. "Edward Snowden decided who would be invited for [the meeting] at Sheremetyevo on his own. So, a precise list of the invited persons is unknown," airport spokesperson Anna Zakharenkova said.

In her words, members of international and human rights organizations would come to the airport for meeting with Snowden by 4:30 pm.

"Representatives of international and human rights organizations will arrive at Terminal C by 4:30 p.m. and we will bring them to Terminal E where they can cross the checkpoint and enter the transit zone. We will be waiting for them at the exit from the transit zone. There will be a short press briefing afterwards," Zakharenkova said.

Snowden could face cruelty if extradited - Amnesty Intl

Former CIA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden cannot be extradited to the United States under any circumstances, chief of Amnesty International's Russian office Sergei Nikitin said.

Nikitin and other rights campaigners are expected to meet with Snowden in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Friday evening.

"No state has the right to extradite this person to a country where he may be treated harshly. The United States is a country where the threat of severe treatment, bordering on torture, is quite likely," Nikitin said.

"The US authorities have already branded Snowden a traitor and they have formed a firm opinion about him even before a verdict has been passed at a trial," he added.

"Snowden's extradition must never take place. Whatever the country he may find himself in, he cannot be extradited as long as his request for refuge is being processed," Nikitin said.

Snowden has the right to request political asylum, Nikitin said.

"At the same time, if his request is to be granted, he must provide solid evidence that he is being persecuted," he said.

The United States is pushing to get Snowden extradited, as they are accusing him of divulging state secrets.

It emerged on Friday that Snowden had requested a meeting with Russian and foreign rights campaigners.

Snowden's letter to human rights activists made public

Allegedly Edward Snowden's letter sent to Russian and foreign human rights activists asking them to meet him at Sheremetyevo airport on Friday at 5 pm revealed to the public.

In his letter Snowden says that he has been "extremely fortunate to enjoy and accept many offers of support and asylum from brave countries around the world. These nations have my gratitude...

"Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

"The scale of threatening behavior is without precedent: never before in history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign President's plane to effect a search for a political refugee."

Edward Snowden also notes that he will meet human rights activists and lawyers at "Sheremetyevo airport Terminal E, in the centre of the arrival hall". And that a person "will be waiting there to recieve" activists and lwyers "with a sign lableed G9".

Snowden also asked to bring a cope of this invitation and personal ID card, proving that the person works for the organization he has invited.

At the end of the letter there is a cellphone number of the airport administration.


Voice of Russia

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