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Snowden's Father Says Russia Only Safe Place For Son

RIA Novosti

12:55 10/10/2013

MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) – The father of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden says he believes Russia, where he arrived on Thursday with the aim of meeting with his son, is the only country in which his fugitive son can feel safe.

Lon Snowden told reporters on arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport that he doubted his son would return to the United States.

Edward Snowden's future and exact current whereabouts remain shrouded in mystery, but his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says the former US intelligence contractor was not in talks to seek asylum in any other countries and has received several offers of work.

Kucherena, speaking to Rossiya-24 news channel alongside Lon Snowden, said Edward Snowden would be open to extending his one-year asylum status in Russia.

Lon Snowden said he has been granted a multi-entry Russian visa and that he plans to visit the country several times. He said he had no information about what his son plans to do.

"I have no idea what his intentions are, but ever since he has been in Russia, my understanding is that he has simply been trying to remain healthy and safe and he has nothing to do with future stories," Lon Snowden said in comments broadcast on Russia's state-owned English-language news channel RT.

Edward Snowden was not seen at the airport.

Kucherena said other relatives of Edward Snowden may come to visit Russia too, but declined to provide details.

Snowden, a computer specialist and former employee of the US National Security Agency, fled the United States as he was leaking classified evidence of US government surveillance programs to the media. He was granted asylum in Russia in August after spending several weeks in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport.

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