MOSCOW, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Fugitive U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has not yet filed an official request for political asylum in Russia, the country's migration chief said Saturday.
"At present, there have been no applications from Snowden," Federal Migration Service chief Konstantin Romodanovsky told the Interfax news agency.
"If we receive an application, it will be considered in due process of law," Romodanovsky added.
The former U.S. spy agency contractor, who has been stranded in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport after arriving from Hong Kong on June 23, held a closed-door meeting Friday with human rights activists, lawyers and officials.
Meeting participants said Snowden intends to apply for asylum in Russia and has accepted the Kremlin's condition for asylum that he must stop damaging U.S. interests.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that Snowden should first address the Federal Migration Service if he wants to be granted asylum.
Noting that Friday's meeting was "extensively covered by the media," Lavrov said the ministry "has no contacts with Snowden ... I learned about them just as anybody else."
President Vladimir Putin on Friday held a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama on a wide range of issues, including Snowden's case, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Snowden, who disclosed a highly classified surveillance project code-named PRISM, has been charged by the U.S. government with three felonies, including two under the Espionage Act.
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday reiterated Washington's call for Russia to hand over Snowden to face charges in the United States.
The U.S. State Department has revoked Snowden's U.S. passport, making it difficult for him to go to other destinations without travel documents.
MOSCOW, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden plans to apply for political asylum in Russia, a Russian parliamentarian said Friday after meeting the stranded whistleblower.
Several other participants in the closed-door talks in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport confirmed that Snowden said he was seeking political asylum in Russia and could not fly to Latin America. Full story
WASHINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday reiterated its call for Russia to hand over Edward Snowden to face espionage charges back at home, as the former U.S. spy agency contractor was seeking political asylum in the European country.
"Our position on Mr. Snowden and the felony charges against him and our belief that he ought to be returned to the United States to face those felony charges is as it was, and we have communicated it to a variety of countries, including Russia," White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a regular press briefing. Full story