According to Interfax, Russia have authorized Snowden to leave the airport where he has been stuck for nearly a month, and grant him temporary asylum in exchange for his cooperative silence. RT adds that "Russia’s Immigration Service has reportedly granted entry permission to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has been stranded at a Moscow airport since last month. “The American is currently getting ready to leave. He will be given new clothes. Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena will bring the papers he needs to leave the transit zone of the airport,” says Interfax citing an airport source familiar with the situation. The migration service would not immediately confirm the information.
As a reminder, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia last week. "His request followed weeks of searching for a way to leave the country, which he intended to pass briefly on his way to another destination and where he was stranded because the US revoked his travel passport."
It took Russian immigration authorities a week for an initial assessment of an asylum request. They decided to proceed with the request and issued Snowden provisional documents to that effect.
“When he gets those documents in his hands, he will be released from his temporary home at Sheremetyevo Airport and will be able to go freely about the Russian Federation,” explains RT’s Lindsay France from the airport.
It can take up to three months to either grant or reject the asylum request. If granted, temporary asylum would allow Snowden to remain in Russia for one year and be renewed annually. If the request is rejected by the Immigration Service, Snowden may appeal the decision in court.
Earlier Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said Snowden may decide to become a permanent resident in Russia rather than stay there seeking an opportunity to get asylum elsewhere.
“He’s planning to arrange his life here. He plans to get a job. And, I think, that all his further decisions will be made considering the situation he found himself in,” he told RT.
We can only hope that Edward has lots of petty cash in his offshore bank account if he really intends to plant roots in Moscow: according to a just released report, the Russian capital is now the 2nd most expensive city in the world for expatriates because of high city center rent in Moscow. Maybe Gerard Depardieu can help out with the lodging situation?