US communicates concerns over Snowden to Russian gov't - ambassador

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US communicates concerns over Snowden to Russian gov
Published 22-07-2013, 12:38
US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has declined claims that the Embassy allegedly takes no interest in former CIA employee Edward Snowden.

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"We have communicated our concerns clearly and frequently to the Russian government," he wrote on Twitter in reply to a statement by Russian Public Chamber member, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena who alleged insufficient attention of the U.S. Embassy to Snowden.

It was reported earlier that Kucherena said he was surprised with the standpoint of the U.S. Embassy on former CIA employee Edward Snowden stuck in the Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone.

"The inhumane position the U.S. ambassador has taken in regard to a fellow citizen is simply astonishing. The man has been staying in tight quarters, practically under house arrest for a long time but no one from the Embassy, primarily the ambassador, takes interest in him," Kucherena said on Monday.

The lawyer, who provides legal consultations to the U.S. runaway, believes that "humanitarian issues would be prioritized in this case, while judiciary and legal matters should come next."

"No matter what the charges may be or how the authorities and average citizens may feel about him, first and foremost he is a human being who needs moral support," Kucherena said.

The former CIA employee fled to Hong Kong in May 2013 and leaked information about covert online surveillance operations of the U.S. security services. He arrived in Moscow and settled down in the Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone on June 23. Snowden is unable to leave as his U.S. passport has been revoked.

The ex-agent met with Russian human rights activists on July 12 to ask for assisting in his appeal for temporary asylum in Russia until Latin American states provide him with travel documents.

Snowden filed asylum requests to 21 countries. He abandoned the idea to settle down in Russia after he had learned he would be permitted to do so only if he stopped publishing U.S. classified materials.

An official request for temporary asylum in Russia was lodged on July 16. Snowden declared his plans to stay a week ago, at a meeting with human rights defenders in Sheremetyevo.


Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky told Interfax a decision on Snowden's asylum request would be made in three months.
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