Snowden got asylum in Russia, lawyer says |

Snowden got asylum in Russia, lawyer says

Vladimir Isachenkov
The Associated Press
FILE - Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, speaks to the media outside the Central Criminal Court in London, in this Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 file photo after a British judge sentenced two men for stabbing her son to death in London almost two decades earlier, a crime that exposed racism within the British police and set the victim's family on a long quest for justice. Doreen Lawrence is to be made a baroness in a list of peerages expected to be published Thursday Aug. 1 2013. It is understood that she will sit on the Labour benches of the House of Lords as a working peer. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)

MOSCOW — National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden left transit zone of a Moscow airport and entered Russia after authorities granted him temporary asylum, his lawyer said Thursday.

Anatoly Kucherena said that Snowden’s whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons. The former NSA systems analyst was stuck at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.

The U.S. has demanded that Russia send Snowden home to face prosecution for espionage, but President Vladimir Putin dismissed the request.

Putin had said that Snowden could receive asylum in Russia on condition he stops leaking U.S. secrets. Kucherena has said Snowden accepted the condition.

The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday published a new report on U.S. intelligence-gathering based on information from Snowden, but Kucherena said the material was provided before Snowden promised to stop leaking.

Snowden, who revealed details of a U.S. intelligence program to monitor Internet activity, has received offers of asylum from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia and said he would like to visit those countries. However, the logistics of reaching any of those countries are complicated because his U.S. passport has been revoked.

The Snowden case has further strained U.S.-Russian ties already tense amid differences over Syria, U.S. criticism of Russia’s human rights record and other issues.

Snowden’s father said in remarks broadcast Wednesday on Russian television that he would like to visit his son. Kucherena said he is arranging the trip.