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Operations of shift consular department at Sheremetyevo impeded by situation around Snowden

July 02, 2013, 13:57 UTC+3

The consuls do not answer any calls either on the intercom or in the local network

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MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) - Situation around the fugitive CIA technical analyst Edward Snowden, who is staying in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, has heavily impeded the operations of the airport’s department of shift consuls.

An Itar-Tass reporter said in a dispatch from the airport that consuls, who are usually working shifts at the airport, do not answer any calls either on the intercom or on the local exchange net. Most obviously, they have been overflowed with requests from reporters trying to clear out Snowden’s further destiny.

Monday night, one of the duty consuls at the airport confirmed that Snowden had filed a request for political asylum.

“I hereby confirm that the British national Sarah Harrison handed Snowden’s request for political asylum to us at 22:30 Monday,” he said. “We sent a signal upstairs and then a state courier came to the airport and picked up the package of documents.”

Edward Snowden, 30, a former technical specialist at the CIA, leaked informational on the existence of two secret programs run by the U.S. National Security Agency to intercept the telephone calls and Internet message exchanges processed via servers on the U.S. territory.

He made his revelations public while on a trip in Hong Kong where he took an Aeroflot flight for Moscow June 23.

On the next day, he was supposed to fly to Cuba but he did not get aboard the Aeroflot jet eventually. He is still staying in the Sheremetyevo transit zone.

The U.S. is putting pressure on Russia in a bid to wring out his extradition.

Russia’s Federal Migration Service, the scope of duties of which includes the examination of applications for political asylum, has not received any such applications from Snowden so far.

“We didn’t get a request from Snowden,” a source at the service said.

President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained for the situation saying that Snowden had himself revoked the application upon learning Putin’s stance on the situation around him.

Putin told reporters Monday that Snowden could stay behind in Russia on the condition of fully renouncing any anti-American actions.

Peskov reiterated that the Russian secret services had never worked with Snowden and he was not their agent.

He also said that Russia has never given up anyone to others in the past and will not be doing it in the future either.

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