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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Snowden’s father has not yet been issued Russian visa – report

Snowden’s father has not yet been issued Russian visa – reportLon Snowden (Reuters / Gary Cameron)


The father of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden still cannot enter Moscow to visit his son because the Russian consulate needs the Foreign Ministry to sanction his visa before it can be issued, Russian media reported.
"The fact is that Lon Snowden still does not have a valid Russia visa,” a source close to Snowden Sr. said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency. “When Lon’s lawyers asked for an explanation at one of the Russian consular offices, the response was that Russian Foreign Ministry needs to issue a sanction, which was not done yet, and only then a visa can be issued.”
Lon Snowden and his lawyer Bruce Fein appeared on ABC News on August 11, stating that they had received Russian visas and believed their trip would happen in the near future.  Both Snowden and Fein thought the visa issue had already been resolved.
The source could not name the reasons for the delay, but did note that Snowden Sr. is still planning a trip to Moscow and is looking forward to seeing his son. 
Former CIA employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden is waiting for his father to arrive, hoping to discuss his future plans with him. 
In the meantime, Snowden is spending his time traveling across Russia. He is learning about local customs and traditions through books that were passed on to him, Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper cited Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena as saying.
The whistleblower is now able to speak a little bit of Russian. “Some words he can pronounce very clearly,” Kucherena said.
The lawyer added that Snowden has been receiving job offers, but has not settled on anything yet.
Snowden has been charged with espionage in his home country for leaking classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and foreign allies who collaborated with the NSA.
Snowden was granted temporary asylum and was allowed to enter Russia on August 1. His current location has not been made public nor will it be disclosed, according to Kucherena.