Russia plans to extend Snowden’s asylum, lawmaker says

Russia plans to extend Edward Snowden’s asylum, according to a Russian lawmaker.

Alexey K. Pushkov hinted Friday that Snowden’s temporary status in Russia could become indefinite, according to multiple reports. He spoke about the forthcoming change at a panel during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

{mosads}Pushkov serves as chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian Parliament’s lower house.

“He will not be sent out of Russia,” Pushkov said, according to a The New York Times report. “It will be up to Snowden.”

The Russian lawmaker also noted how expansive U.S. intelligence operations have become.

“The U.S. has created a Big Brother system,” Pushkov said.

Russia granted Snowden asylum in August. It was intended to last one year.

Snowden fled the United States in June after leaking highly classified U.S. government documents he stole when he was a contractor for the National Security Agency. 

He first traveled to Hong Kong, and then to Moscow, where he was stuck in its airport for about a month.

During an online chat Thursday, Snowden said he would be willing to return to the U.S., if he could defend himself as a whistle-blower.

Earlier that day, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration might be open to engaging in conversations with Snowden as long as he accepted responsibility for what he did. Snowden currently faces espionage charges. 

Tags Edward Snowden Russia

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