Russian pop singer Grigory Leps will make a decision concerning his possible meeting with former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently living in Russia, after he returns to Moscow after his Vladivostok tour, Leps's press secretary Maia Serikova told Interfax on Tuesday.
"Grigory Leps is currently in Vladivostok. He will come back on November 15, after which a decision will be made," Serikova said.
Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who represents Snowden's interests in Russia, said earlier he did not rule out that Snowden might meet with Leps to discuss the chances of the Russian singer's phone being tapped by U.S. special services.
The U.S. Department of Justice said on October 31 that Artur Badalyan, Grigory Lepsveridze (a singer known as Grigory Leps), Vadim Lyalin, Sergei Moskalenko, Yakov Rybalkin and Igor Shlykov had been blacklisted on suspicion of being members of the Brother's Circle Eurasian criminal syndicate.
The persons listed are suspected of maintaining contact with a Vladislav Leontyev and Gafur Rakhimov, believed to be influential members of criminal groups, and blacklisted by the United States in February 2012.
Leps is a cash courier on Leontyev's behalf, according to the U.S. authorities.
Leps's producer declined to comment, describing the accusations as rubbish. Leps's PR Director Maya Serikova told Russian News Service radio that the singer is on a guest tour and that he learned about the sanctions introduced against him in the United States from media reports.
In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama classified the Brother's Circle syndicate as "a significant transnational organized criminal group" and ordered the U.S. Department of Finance to sabotage their global criminal operations.
The inclusion of a person on the blacklists of the U.S. Department of Finance leads to the freezing of this person's assets in the United States and a ban on business contacts with him for people who live in the U.S.
Grigory Leps is a well-know performer, composer, producer and an Honored Artist of Russia.
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