Fugitive and PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden was given clearance to leave the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, according to Russian media.
Russia issued a response to Snowden’s asylum request, which allows him to enter Russian territory as long as border security does not object.
Snowden has been confined to the transit zone for a month since arriving in Russia on June 23. After an exhaustive search for a country that would offer asylum, Snowden requested temporary asylum in Russia on July 16. While his application is under consideration, he is allowed to enter the country.
Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, is expected to provide Snowden with a document allowing him to leave the airport and receive new clothing. He could leave within hours.
After the United States revoked his passport, Snowden has been unable to travel to the handful of Latin American countries, including Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, which offered him asylum. Now he must obtain asylum in Russia to travel to Latin American. He is apparently fearful of flying at this point because he believes the United States will force down his plane.