MOSCOW » Edward Snowden’s temporary asylum status in Russia will expire at midnight Thursday, but the former U.S. National Security Agency systems administrator appears set to stay on until authorities decide on his application for an extension.
Snowden was stranded in a Moscow airport last year en route from Hong Kong to Cuba, shortly after he revealed the NSA’s sprawling program of tapping phones. He received temporary asylum in Russia, attracting Washington’s ire.
Under Russian law, that status must be renewed annually. Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, was quoted by the state news agency RIA Novosti on Thursday as saying he expected a decision soon on the application and that Snowden could stay at least until the decision is made.