This screenshot made on Oct. 10, 2013, shows Lon Snowden (R), father of Edward Snowden, receives interview from Rossiya 24 in Moscow, Russia. Father of the fugitive U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden arrived Thursday in Moscow, local television said. (Xinhua)
MOSCOW, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Lon Snowden, father of U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, arrived at an airport near Moscow, the capital of Russia, Thursday and was expected to meet his son later in the day.
Lon Snowden arrived early in the day at the Sheremetyevo International Airport, where his son had been trapped for more than a month before a temporary asylum was granted to him.
Upon his arrival Thursday, Snowden the senior said he was pleased that his son was safe and free. He also expressed his " extreme gratitude" to Russian President Vladimir Putin and others for helping Edward find his place in the country.
The father also said he was not sure if Edward Snowden could ever return to the United States where he would face espionage charges over disclosing a classified intelligence surveillance program.
In a live interview with Russian-24 TV station, the father said he had not spoken directly to his son yet.
"The last time I spoke to him directly was in April," said the father, adding that he could not speak about any details for the sake of his son's safety.
While insisting Edward an educated and talented man, Lon said it's up to his son as where to stay and what to do. He also said he would be contented if his son decides to stay and live in Russia as "it is one of the few places in the world where he can feel safe now."
The father, who came to Russia for the first time with a multi- entry visa, will spend some time in Moscow and do some sightseeing. He referred all specific questions to Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden's Russian attorney, who was with him.
Kucherena also declined to reveal details about Edward's current life and whereabouts out of concerns about the leaker's safety.
"You must understand that the powerful country, the United States, is on the hunt after him," the lawyer said, adding that on the way from the airport to the TV headquarters in northern Moscow, at least five cars chased their vehicle with unclear intentions.
"I got out of the car and asked them ... But I would like to draw your attention to the fact that it is primarily a matter of Edward's security," Kucherena said. "I understand that everyone wants to know where the father will meet his son. But his security should be our top concern."
The Russian lawyer disclosed that Russia has still not received an official request from the United States to extradite Snowden.
As for the overall situation with Snowden, Kucherena said the 30-year-old "is leading a quite reclusive lifestyle these day" because he is being persecuted by the U.S. government and the danger lingers.
Noting that Snowden is living quite modestly with savings almost spent, Kucherena said "he needs help until he finds a job. I hope he will be employed in the near future."
Currently, Snowden has received a number of job offers, among which are some highly-paid ones, said the lawyer without elaboration.
According to Kucherena, if Snowden lives in Russia for at least five years, he could be entitled to be granted with Russian citizenship.
"Edward, as you know, has temporary asylum for one year. He can extend it an unlimited number of times," said the Russian lawyer.
MOSCOW, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Former contractor of the U.S. intelligence service Edward Snowden travels in Russia freely and looks forward to finding a job, his attorney said Wednesday.
"He feels okay, travels and reads," Anatoly Kucherena, who acted as Snowden's solicitor during the American's month-long confinement in the transit zone of a Moscow airport, told reporters, adding the whistleblower does not work at the moment. Full story