NSA leaker Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia.
Foreign ministry consul Kim Shevchenko said the request was made on Sunday night. The Kremlin has made no comment. The 30-year-old former CIA analyst is believed to be holed up in a Moscow airport hotel. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Mr Snowden was welcome to stay as long as he stopped “inflicting damage on our American partners”.
The US has not yet made any comment on the latest developments. President Barack Obama, speaking earlier in Tanzania, said Washington and Moscow had held “high level” discussions about Mr Snowden. “We are hopeful the Russian government makes decisions based on the normal procedures regarding international travel and the normal interactions law enforcement have,” he told reporters, pointing out that Mr Snowden does not have a valid passport or legal papers.
Earlier reports had said that Snowden was seeking asylum in Ecuador.