Edward Snowden has been pretty much stranded in Russia for the past week while waiting for his requests for asylum to be answered. The former contracted worker with the National Security Agency was thrust onto the international stage after leaking security secrets about who the U.S does surveillance on—including the countries citizens—and what leading companies are involved with the NSA’s PRISM program. With his passport revoked and declared a fugitive, Snowden has now applied for asylum with 15 countries according to a Russian Foreign Ministry official.
In speaking with the L.A Times, the official stated that Snowden’s applying for asylum was a “…desperate measure on his part after Ecuador disavowed his political protection credentials, in the document Snowden reiterated once again that he is not a traitor and explained his actions only by a desire to open the world’s eyes on the flagrant violations by U.S special services not only of American citizens but also citizens of European Union including their NATO allies.”
The countries Edward Snowden listed weren’t named, but it was mentioned that Snowden met with officials at the Shermetyevo International Airport in Moscow. It was here that Snowden was in the transit lounge. Days earlier when requested by the U.S to bring Snowden in, Russia stated that they couldn’t since Snowden was probably in the transit area where they can’t touch him. Snowden had just come in from Hong Kong and was trying to get to another country of asylum.
According to Kirill Kabanov, a part of the Kremlin’s Presidential Council on Human Rights, Russia could be on Snowden’s list. He told the L.A Times that in the current situation Russian has “…two workable options: Firstly is to provide Snowden with some refugee-status papers so that he could buy a ticket and leave for some other country, or secondly to grant him political asylum.”