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Snowden granted 1 year's temporary asylum in Russia

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-02 07:42


Snowden granted 1 year's temporary asylum in Russia

Fugitive former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden (C) talks with Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena (2nd R) in front of a car at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport August 1, 2013 in this still handout image broadcasted by Rossiya 24 TV Channel. [Photo/Agencies]

"I am finishing paperwork on the invitation to his father. He will come and we will be able to discuss all issues personally," the lawyer told a local TV station.

On Wednesday, Snowden's father, Lon Snowden, said in an interview with a Russian news channel he hoped his son could find protection in Russia, and he would come to Moscow.

Snowden arrived at Moscow's Sheremetyevo international airport on June 23, and has reportedly been stranded in the transit zone since then as his passport was revoked by his government. He faces espionage charges after disclosing a classified intelligence surveillance project code-named PRISM.

President Vladimir Putin, calling Snowden "a transit passenger" who had arrived in Russia without invitation, has repeatedly said Moscow is not going to harm its relations with Washington, and that Snowden must handle his affairs "without our involvement."

According to the president, the relationship between Russia and the United States "is more important than any intelligence scandal."

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said Thursday Moscow was aware of the atmosphere created in United States over Snowden, but had not received "any signals" regarding the cancelation of US President Barack Obama's visit to Russia in September.

Local experts said the possible impact of the event on Russia-US ties was foreseeable, as Snowden would have crossed the Russian border sooner or later. The US was unlikely to take any steps that would seriously harm bilateral ties, they said.

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