MOSCOW — A lawyer advising National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says his asylum status has not been resolved and that he is going to stay at the Moscow airport for now.
Anatoly Kucherena, who was visiting the American at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Wednesday, said migration officials are still looking at this asylum request and that this process had been drawn out.
Kucherena said Snowden is staying in the transit zone “for now” and “intends to stay in Russia, study Russian culture.”
The lawyer did not immediately comment on a Russian news report that said Snowden had received a document earlier Wednesday allowing him to enter Russia from the airport.
The White House says it is "seeking clarity" from Russian authorities about Snowden’s status.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Obama administration has made clear to the Russians its desire to see Snowden returned to the U.S. to face espionage charges. Carney also had no updates on how Snowden's status would impact President Barack Obama's plans to travel to Russia in September.
Snowden has been marooned in the Moscow airport since June 23.