Edward Snowden, wanted by the United States for leaking state secrets, may be permanently stuck in Russia, WikiLeaks claimed Wednesday.
A US government official told the Associated Press that the State Department revoked Snowden's passport before he left Hong Kong for Russia.
Washington had said the passport cancelation would likely prevent him from traveling internationally.
However, the US official conceded, another country could overlook the withdrawn passport and allow Snowden in.
More from GlobalPost: Snowden strains US-Russia relations
WikiLeaks earlier said that its representative Sarah Harrison accompanied Snowden on a plane from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday.
After expressing indignation at US claims that Russia had allowed Snowden to enter the country — and after much speculation on his whereabouts — President Vladimir Putin confirmed Tuesday that Snowden was in the transit area of a Moscow airport.
Washington had warned a day earlier that any countries helping Snowden travel from Hong Kong to Moscow would face consequences in bilateral relations.
The White House also said that Russia had a "clear legal basis" to expel Snowden and should do so without delay.
However, Putin retorted that Russia did not have a relevant extradition agreement with the US.
According to RIA Novosti, he added:
"I hope that this won’t affect … our relationship with the United States in any way."