Snowden issued Russian entry papers, leaves airport

http://rt.com/news/snowden-entry-papers-russia-902/

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been issued papers which will allow him to enter Russian territory, according to his legal representative in the country. Sources say he has already left the airport.

“I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone,” Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax.

Snowden has already left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, an RT crew at the scene has confirmed.

The whistleblower has been granted temporary political asylum in Russia, Rossiya 24 news channel reports.

Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, came to international prominence after leaking several classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and foreign allies who collaborated with them.

Snowden was hiding out in a Hong Kong hotel when he first went public in May. Amidst mounting US pressure on both Beijing and local authorities in the former-British colony to hand the whistleblower over for prosecution, Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23.

Moscow was initially intended as a temporary stopover on his journey, as Snowden was believed to be headed to Ecuador via Cuba. However, he ended up getting stranded at Sheremetyevo Airport after the US government revoked his passport. Snowden could neither leave Russia nor enter it, forcing him to remain in the airport’s transit zone.

In July, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a status that would allow him to live and work in the country for one year. Kucherena earlier said the fugitive whistleblower is considering securing permanent residency in Russia, where he will attempt to build a life.

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