Fugitive United States (US) intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has been given an official pass to leave Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, Russian airport officials said.
Russian media said the migration service issued the document, but the service has not yet commented.
However, Snowden’s lawyer said his client had not received the documents and would stay in the airport. The US authorities want him extradited for leaking details of government surveillance programmes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to hand him to the US authorities, but said he could stay in Russia only if he stopped leaking. He has stayed in the transit area since arriving from Hong Kong on 23 June, and recently requested temporary asylum in Russia.
Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena visited the airport yesterday, and said that his client was staying in the airport. Kucherena contradicted airport officials, saying his client had not received travel documents, and his asylum request had not yet been decided.