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Wednesday, October 05 2022
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Snowden Asylum Hits US ,Russia Relations

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Moscow : Brushing aside pleas and warnings from President Obama and other senior Americans, Russia granted Edward J. Snowden temporary asylum and allowed him to walk free out of a Moscow airport transit zone on Thursday despite the risk of a breach in relations with the United States.Due to which ,Obamas Moscow Trip Is even more in Doubt(August 2, 2013).

In the picture, Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena shows a picture of fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in his new refugee documents granted by Russia
during a news conference in Moscow.

 

Russias decision, which infuriated American officials, ended five weeks of legal limbo for Mr. Snowden, the form

er intelligence analyst wanted by the United States for leaking details of the National Security Agencys surveillance programs, and opened a new phase of his legal and political odyssey.

Even as his leaks continued with new disclosures from the computer files he downloaded, Mr. Snowden now has legal permission to live and conceivably even work  anywhere here for as long as a year, safely out of the reach of Americanprosecutors.

Though some supporters expect him to seek permanent sanctuary elsewhere, possibly in Latin America, Mr. Snowden now has an international platform to continue defending his actions as a whistle-blower exposing wrongdoing by the American government.

In a statement issued by WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy organization that has been assisting him since he made his disclosures in June, Mr. Snowden thanked Russia for giving him permission to enter the country “in accordance with its laws and international obligations.” He accused the Obama administration of disregarding domestic and international law since his disclosures, but added that “in the end, the law is winning.”

White House officials indicated that Mr. Obama was leaning against his plan to meet President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Moscow next month after the summit meeting of the Group of 20 nations in St. Petersburg, though officials stopped short of canceling the meeting outright. While American and Russian officials acknowledge the need to work together on issues of global importance, like the reduction of nuclear weapons and the war in Syria, Mr. Snowdens case now casts a shadow over relations in the way little has since the days of cold war defections.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Russian Federation would take this step,”the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said in Washington. He pointedly added that the administration was evaluating “the utility of having a summit.”

Mr. Putin, who spent the day at his official residence on the outskirts of Moscow, has appeared increasingly impervious to entreaties from the United States even those directly from Mr. Obama, who called him last month to discuss Mr. Snowdens case.

By late Thursday night, Mr. Snowdens whereabouts remained unclear. He left the international transit zone at Sheremetyevo airport unexpectedly at 3:30 p.m. after his lawyer, Anatoly G. Kucherena, spent the day with officials from the Federal Migration Service. Mr. Kucherena delivered him a passportlike document issued Wednesday and valid until July 31, 2014, granting him status as a “temporary refugee” in Russia.

Mr. Kucherena, in an interview, said he would not disclose Mr. Snowdens whereabouts, though he expected that he could make a public appearance soon. “I cannot give out details,” he saidin an interview.

WikiLeaks said that Mr. Snowden was accompanied by one of its representatives, Sarah Harrison, who appears to have remained with him since his flight began in Hong Kong in June. Mr. Kucherena said in television interviews that while he would continue to act as counsel, he was not involved in arrangements for Mr. Snowdens housing in Russia.

Mr. Snowden, 30, could still decide to seek permanent asylum in another country. According to Mr. Kucherena, he has not officially applied for permanent political asylum in Russia and could simply remain until he is able to fly elsewhere, though the logistics of that have been complicated by intense pressure from the Obama administration on countries to block his transit.

Mr. Snowdens official arrival in Russia was broadly cheered by many here who have defended his decision to leak the secrets of American surveillance. Ivan Melnikov, a senior Communist Party member of Parliament and a candidate for mayor of Moscow in next months election, called him a hero. “Frankly speaking,” Mr. Melnikov said, according to the Interfax news agency, he is “like a balm to the hearts of all Russian patriots.”

Pavel Durov, the founder of the most prominent Russian online social network, VKontakte, even invited Mr. Snowden to join his company and help create new security measures. “Snowden might be interested in working to protect the personal data of millions of our users,”he wrote.

Although Mr. Putin has sought to avoid a personal confrontation with Mr. Obama over Mr. Snowden  calling his limbo in the airport “an unwanted Christmas present”,officials across the political spectrum have delighted in criticizing what they perceive as American arrogance and hypocrisy.

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