With deadline looming, Snowden requests asylum extension in Russia

It appears National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is in no rush to leave Russia.


Fran Berkman


Published Jul 9, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 11:57 pm CDT

It appears National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden is in no rush to leave Russia.

Anatoly Kucherena, his lawyer, said Snowden has filed a petition asking the Russia to extend his political asylum protection for another year, according to the state-sponsored news organization RT

“We have submitted documents to prolong his stay in Russia,” Kucherena said. “The procedure is very simple if a citizen of any country would like to stay and live in Russia. In this case we are talking about Snowden, so we have fulfilled the procedure to receive temporary asylum.”

Snowden fled the U.S. in the spring of 2013, carrying a trove of documents that would eventually expose the vast scope of the NSA’s surveillance capabilities to the world. He passed those documents off to several journalists in Hong Kong, but Snowden relocated to Russia after revealing his identity in June.

He spent the first month stranded in a Moscow airport before accepting a one-year temporary asylum agreement, starting Aug. 1 of last year.

Russia’s Federal Migration Service will notify Snowden as to whether the country will extend the agreement, Kucherena said on Wednesday.

While there has been some speculation on where Snowden will land next, staying in Russia is by far the most likely scenario. The 31-year-old former Hawaii resident would face espionage charges from the Department of Justice should he choose to return to the U.S.

Photo by thierry ehrmann/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 9, 2014, 1:42 pm CDT