title: 'Snowden leaves Moscow airport granted asylum for one year' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:

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    US whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday thanked Russia for granting him a year's asylum in a statement issued via the WikiLeaks website, and accused the US government of showing "no respect" for international law. Meanwhile, the founder of social network Vkontakte offered Snowden a job. VoR spoke to Eric Kraus, Director at Principal Asset Management, who set up a fund to support Snowden, about what the whistleblower's options are now (audio above). Snowden on Thursday left Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, where he has been holed up since June 23, for an undisclosed location after being granted a one-year asylum in Russia, said lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is providing legal services to the US fugitive. In the statement, Snowden said, "Over the past eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning." Job offer Founder of the Russian social network /Vkontakte Pavel Durov has already offered Snowden a job, writing it in his status update. “I guess it would be interesting for Edward Snowden to be engaged in personal data protection of millions of our users,” the social network founder wrote. Durov added that he feels proud that Russia is the country that granted asylum to the man who “revealed the crimes of American intelligence towards people from all over the world.” US "disappointed" The White House said on Thursday it would review plans for a US-Russia presidential summit in early September after Moscow's decision to grant asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. "We're extremely disappointed,"White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. "We're evaluating the utility of a summit in light of this." Putin's foreign policy advisor Yury Ushakov had earlier sought to limit any potential diplomatic damage, saying that the situation should not affect relations with Washington He also played down speculation that the dispute over Snowden could prompt President Obama to cancel the September summit ahead of the Saint Petersburg G20 summit. "This situation is rather insignificant and should not influence political relations between Russia and the US,"Ushakov said. "We know what sort of noise surrounds this (situation) in America, but we have not received any signals from the United States"regarding the cancellation of Obama's visit to Moscow, he added. "He can choose where to live" "His location is not being made public for security reasons since he is the most pursued man on the planet. He himself will decide where he will go," Kucherena said. “He remains on Russian territory. Whether he wants to go to Europe or the US – he will figure it out on his own. Today he doesn’t have plans like that,”Kucherena said later on Thursday, live on Rossia 24 TV. "He has acquired friends in Russia, American friends, who can ensure his security for some time,"Kucherena said. Snowden offiically entered Russia for the first time since arriving five weeks ago by crossing the airport border from the transit zone at 3.30pm local time. Kucherena said Snowden had left the airport in a normal taxi on his own. "Under Russian law, he can choose where to live, from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad,"said Kucherena. "He can rent a hotel room, an apartment, a house, or live in a hovel if he wants to." However, Snowden does not have a lot of money at his disposal, Kucherena added. He said there had been offers from private security companies to provide security for the former CIA employee and NSA contractor. There have been other types of offers too - Kucherena said that Snowden has received numerous calls and offers from Russian women, but misses his girlfriend in the US. “He misses his girlfriend very much. I am telling him that women call him in Russia and he says “Anatoly, I have a girlfriend,” said the lawyer. Surprisingly quick As the US has continued its efforts to retrieve Snowden over the past five weeks, President Vladimir Putin's Kremlin has distanced itself from the whole affair, saying the question of asylum was in the hands of the migration authorities. However, there was no indication until now that an asylum application -- that can take up to three months to process -- would be handled so fast. VoR spoke to international affairs expert Vyacheslav Nikonov: Download Terms of asylum, citzenship "Temporary asylum is granted for one year and may be renewed annually for 12 months. Under certain circumstances, a person can lose or forfeit temporary asylum,"a statement on the Russian immigration (FMS) website said. "Provisional shelter is a kind of humanitarian status or deferred expulsion,"it specified. Temporary asylum is lost when Russian citizenship or nationality of another state is acquired; orif the holder is convicted of a crime on the territory of Russia, gives false information or files false documents. The head of the Public Council of the Federal Migration Service, Vladimir Volokh told Interfax news agency that Snowden can't count on a speeded-up procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship. "For now Snowden meets all the requirements of the general procedure for obtaining citizenship. First you have to get a temporary residence permit. This is a long period. Around seven years,"said Volokh. Obtaining Russian citizenship would have been speeded up if Snowden had applied for a refugee status in Russia, but he requested temporary asylum. Backstory Snowden came to international prominence after leaking several classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US's National Security Agency (NSA) 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 Moscow’s 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. The US, which does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, continued its efforts to retrieve him, with presidents Obama and Putin speaking directly about the predicament. Public opinion remains divided as to whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor, or simply a naive young man whose good intentions went awry. 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. Snowden has said he eventually hopes to be able to travel to South America, where Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have all said they would grant him political asylum. (Voice of Russia, AFP, RT) FBI asks Snowden's father to go to Moscow

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