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Snowden applies to Russian migration service for temporary asylum

July 16, 2013, 17:27 UTC+3

Russian Migration Service has confirmed the application has been received

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MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) - Edward Snowden’s application for temporary asylum will be considered within up to three months, and in the meantime he will get a certificate giving him the right to stay in Russia. The head of the Russian Federal Migration Service, Konstantin Romodanovsky, has confirmed that the FMS received Snowden’s application for temporary asylum. “Yes, his application has been received,” he told Tass. “It will be considered within the timeframe established by law, namely within three months,” Romodanovsky said.

He also stressed this does not mean that “Snowden’s application will be considered within all these three months.” “Three months is the upper limit,” he specified.

However, Itar-Tass has failed as of yet to get official commentaries from the Federal Migration Service, whose territorial agency makes the decision.

The Migration Service’s website says “temporary asylum is a kind of a ‘humanitarian status’ or postponed expulsion”. “In case of a positive decision, the document granting temporary asylum on the territory of the Russian Federation is issued. A negative decision may be contested per standard procedure. Temporary asylum is granted for one year and may be extended yearly by 12 months,” the website says.

Under certain conditions, the person may lose or be stripped of temporary asylum. The Federal Migration Service has three temporary accommodation centres for people seeking asylum in Russia with a total capacity of 180 people.

Earlier, chairman of a Public Chamber commission, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Itar-Tass that former CIA employee Edward Snowden has handed in an application to a representative of the Federal Migration Service requesting temporary asylum.

"I've just left /Snowden/ the transit zone. I helped him draw the application, and since he could not meet with the FMS representative, I asked the latter to meet him in the transit zone. The application was drawn and registered in the transit zone," Kucherena said.

He added that he was ready to continue to provide legal assistance as a lawyer.

Earlier Kucherena has confirmed that Snowden telephoned him on Monday, using the telephone number he gave Snowden during a meeting with human rights activists in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport when the Russian lawyer promised Snowden consultative support.

"He did telephone me; consultations have been going on now," Kucherena confirmed.

"Snowden does not quite understand our laws, and I explained to him the Law on Refugees, the presidential decree on the order of granting political asylum and a resolution of the Russian government on the order of granting temporary asylum on the territory of the Russian Federation," Kucherena said.

" I think the situation will be settled in the next few days. Snowden will make a decision after all," Kucherena said.

"Formalities is not the most important thing at present. Snowden has been actively asking for consultations. No one should impose anything on him; he ought to make the decision himself," Kucherena stressed.

Snowden has lodged no complaints as regards the conditions in the Sheremetyevo transit zone where he has been staying for 23 days already, according to Anatoly Kucherena.

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