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Russia says it has not received an asylum request from Edward Snowden

The Kremlin said the government had not been contacted by Snowden, a day after Snowden met with lawyers and human rights advocates at Sheremetyevo Airport.

edward snowden moscow russia asylum july 12 2013Enlarge
Whistleblower Edward Snowden at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on July 12, 2013. (Twitter: Ellen Barry/Courtesy)

Russian authorities said on Saturday they still have not yet received an asylum request from Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor-turned-leaker.

The New York Times noted it was "a curious statement given the government’s clear role in arranging a meeting on Friday at Sheremetyevo Airport Friday between Snowden and lawyers and human rights advocates."

Konstantin Romodanovsky, head of Russia's Federal Migration Service, confirmed Russia had not received any requests as of Saturday.

“If we receive an application, it will be considered in due process of law,” Romodanovsky said.

The delay could further strain Moscow's relations with Washington, according to Agence France-Presse.

After three weeks in limbo in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone, Snowden said on Friday he would immediately seek temporary asylum in the country but insisted his final destination was Latin America.

More from GlobalPost: The Return of Edward Snowden (LIVE BLOG)

Three countries have expressed a willingness to take him in - Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

Last week, Snowden withdrew his request for permanent asylum in Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted he could stay only if he stopped releasing information harmful to the United States.

AFP contributed to this report

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/130713/russia-asylum-request-edward-snowden