Snowden may apply for extending asylum in Russia now - head of Russian Federal Migration Service's Public Council

Former CIA employee Edward Snowden may apply for extending his temporary asylum in Russia in the near future, Vladimir Volokh, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service's Public Council, told Interfax on Thursday.

Former CIA employee Edward Snowden may apply for extending his temporary asylum in Russia in the near future, Vladimir Volokh, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service's Public Council, told Interfax on Thursday.

"This is not a complicated procedure. It's only necessary to file an application before the expiration of the previous temporary asylum term," Volokh said.

Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia on July 31, 2013, which is valid until July 31, 2014.

The Federal Migration Service (FMS) website says temporary asylum may be granted for one year and may be renewed annually for another year.

Volokh said the circumstances based on which Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia have not changed. "He hasn't violated anything. I don't see any problems, and his temporary asylum in Russia will be extended," he said.

Snowden can start the asylum extension procedure already now, Volokh said. "The FMS territorial body extends temporary asylum for a year. The circumstances that served as grounds for granting [Snowden] temporary asylum status haven't changed," he said.

People having refugee or political or temporary asylum status in Russia have access to the Russian labor market and may work without special permission, the FMS website says.

The FMS chief Konstantin Romodanovsky said on June 3 that the extension of Snowden's temporary asylum would be considered by one of the FMS'territorial departments.

"The issue of Edward Snowden is an issue of the FMS territorial subdivision. This is not an issue for its chief's attention. Whatever my subordinates decide, it will be in accordance with the law. You will receive necessary information in a timely manner," Romodanovsky said.

The FMS press service had told Interfax last summer that temporary asylum had been granted to Snowden by the Moscow regional department of the FMS.

It was reported in early June 2014 that Snowden was considering relocation to Brazil if he had such an opportunity. "My asylum here runs out in August. If Brazil were to offer me asylum, I would be more than happy to accept," Snowden said in an interview with the Brazilian TV channel Globo, adding that he would like to live in Brazil.

Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on June 4 that Snowden planned to extend his temporary asylum in Russia.

The U.S. has charged Snowden in absentia with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person. He is facing up to 10 years in prison on each count.

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