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Edward Snowden to leave Moscow airport soon, but not Russia

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   July 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM
Edward Snowden's stay in Russia could last longer than he hopes, a lawyer for the NSA leaker indicated Wednesday.

Snowden, who has officially applied for temporary asylum in Russia, has said he plans to eventually travel to Latin America. But Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is helping Snowden navigate the asylum process, said Snowden might instead consider staying.

He "will leave [the airport] in the next few days because some legal papers are still required to be formalized," Kucherena said. "Therefore I think this issue will be resolved within a week and after this the question of granting him temporary asylum will be decided upon."

Russian president Vladimir Putin has prioritized the relationship between the U.S. and Russia, and said Snowden's asylum request hinges on his agreeing to stop releasing information "that could cause damage to Russian-American relations."

When asked if Snowden would agree to that condition, Kucherena simply replied "yes."

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