Secrets whistleblower Edward Snowden has asked for asylum in Russia, according to a Russian consular official.
The Interfax news agency quoted Kim Shevchenko, the duty officer at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s consular office in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, as saying that Mr Snowden’s representative, Sarah Harrison, handed over his request on Sunday.
Mr Snowden has been caught in legal limbo in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.
The US has cancelled his passport, and Ecuador, where he has hoped to get asylum, has been coy about offering him shelter.
Russian president Vladimir Putin said Mr Snowden will have to stop leaking US secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia, but added that he had no plan to quit doing so.