News / Europe

Snowden's Hopes of Leaving Moscow Airport Dashed

 This handout file photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2013, and made available by Human Rights Watch, shows NSA leaker Edward Snowden during his meeting with Russian activists at Moscow airport.
This handout file photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2013, and made available by Human Rights Watch, shows NSA leaker Edward Snowden during his meeting with Russian activists at Moscow airport.
Reuters
Fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden's hopes of leaving Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for the first time in a month on Wednesday were dashed when he failed to secure permission from Russia to leave.

An airport source said Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for revealing details of government intelligence programs, was handed documents by his lawyer which were expected to include a pass to leave the transit area.

But Snowden did not go through passport control and lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is assisting him with his request for temporary asylum in Russia until he can reach a state that will shelter him, said the American did not have the pass he needed.

It was not clear whether there had been a last-minute political intervention or hitch, or the pass had never been in his possession.

Seeking a solution

But Kucherena said he hoped Snowden's status would be resolved soon.

“I must say he is of course anxious about it and I hope that this situation will be resolved in the nearest future,” Kucherena said at Sheremetyevo airport.

“This is the first time Russia is facing such a situation, and this issue of course requires time for the immigration workers.”

 In Washington, the White House said it was seeking clarification of Snowden's status, the State Department made clear that allowing him to leave the airport would be "deeply disappointing" and Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the situation.

"The secretary spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov this morning," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "He reiterated our belief ... that Mr. Snowden needs to be returned to the United States where he will have a fair trial."

Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela have said they could offer sanctuary to Snowden, who arrived on June 23 from Hong Kong, where he had fled to escape capture and trial in the United States on espionage charges.

But none of the three Latin American countries can be reached by a direct commercial flight so Snowden has requested temporary asylum in Russia until he believes he can safely reach one of them.

The United States wants him extradited to face prosecution and has revoked his passport.

But Russia has refused to send him home and risks damage to relations with the United States if it grants him temporary asylum - a process that could take three months.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid