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Snowden not eligible for fast-track Russian citizenship: authorities

Xinhua [1]
July 30, 2013

Fugitive U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden cannot expect to obtain Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure, the Federal Migration Service (FMS) said Tuesday.

“I don’t see any legal norms which would give him such a possibility,” deputy head of the FMS Vladimir Burov told reporters.

Last week, FMS warned that the U.S. asylum seeker, who has been in a Moscow Sheremetyevo airport’s transit zone for more than a month, could be stranded there for half a year.

Snowden faces espionage charges in the United States after disclosing its classified intelligence surveillance project code-named PRISM. He filed papers seeking a temporary asylum in Russia earlier this month.

A Moscow regional body of the FMS will decide whether to grant him the temporary asylum within three months.

If granted asylum and passing a mandatory health check, Snowden is entitled to receive a standard certificate from that FMS territorial division.

According to the Russian Justice Ministry, Russian laws do not stipulate the duration of time for which an undocumented foreigner may stay in an airport’s transit zone, or liability for staying in the airport’s transit zone.