NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has officially been granted temporary asylum in Russia, reports the Guardian. After camping out in the Moscow airport for over a month, Snowden will finally be able to enter the interior of Russia, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said on Thursday afternoon.
Russia’s Federal Migration Service granted Snowden asylum on a temporary basis for a one-year period. The migration service gave confirmation documents to Snowden today, which “gives him the right to temporary asylum on the territory of the Russian federation," said Kucherena, pictured above.
Russian security officials reported Snowden crossed the border at 3:30pm local time, which was confirmed by an outside source at the airport according to the state news agency RIA Novosti.
Kucherena declined to comment on Snowden’s destination, but said he left alone in a taxi.
"Since he is the most hunted person in the world, he will address the question of security today," said Kucherena.
Snowden’s future is still uncertain. He had previously stated that he intended to make his way to South America, but has recently suggested he wants to stay in Russia. His lawyer told journalists that he has been reading classic Russian literature, and learning Russian.
Edward Snowden’s father, Lon Snowden, is reportedly planning to visit his son, and Kucherena said he is sending him an invitation so that he can obtain a Russian visa.
Further upsetting U.S. lawmakers by granting Snowden asylum, Russia has thus far refused to cooperate with the United States' requests. Russia previously stated that they had no jurisdiction to return Snowden because he was not officially on Russian territory.
WikiLeaks announced that Snowden would comment later today on the Bradley Manning case, the U.S. Army Pfc. who leaked thousands of classified documents in 2009.