The Russian Migration Service confirmed it has received whistleblower Edward Snowden’s application for temporary asylum. It can take authorities up to three months to consider his request. In the meantime, Snowden may be transferred to a refugee center.
“We can confirm that the documents have been received,” a Federal Migration Service spokeswoman said.
The FMS promised to review his application within a three month period.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Putin is aware of Snowden’s application, although he will not have any influence on the asylum process.
“If we are talking about temporary asylum, then this issue is not for the President, but the FMS, where it is not even reviewed on a chief’s level,” Peskov said.
Vladimir Putin also expressed hope that Russian-US relations will develop in a positive manner despite the latest development, the Kremlin spokesman said.
Snowden has been staying in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport for the past 23 days.
One of the conditions of granting political asylum to Snowden is that he stops harmful actions against the US.
Last Friday Snowden met Kucherena and other human rights activists in Sheremetyevo Airport, where Snowden announced his intention to seek asylum in Russia, saying that he will “not harm the US”.
Rights advocates who received letters from Snowden and agreed to come to the meeting included representatives of Amnesty International, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch and other organizations, as well as well-known Russian lawyers.