MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian lawyer for Edward Snowden said Tuesday that he has sent an official invitation to the National Security Agency leaker’s father to visit Russia and help his fugitive son decide his next steps.
Lon Snowden needs the invitation to be issued a Russian visa, which the lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said he hoped would happen in the coming days.
The elder Snowden received the invitation and plans to travel to Russia, Russian state news agencies reported, citing a representative of his lawyer. No date has been set for the trip, but it will happen this month, the reports said.
Edward Snowden is looking forward to his father’s visit and once he comes “they will decide together all the questions” about where he will live and what he will do, Kucherena told journalists, adding that he is in touch with the elder Snowden.
Russia granted the younger Snowden temporary asylum last week to help him evade espionage charges in the U.S. His whereabouts in Russia remain unknown, and Kucherena once again refused to say where he was living.
Russia’s decision angered the U.S. government and may scuttle President Barack Obama’s plans to visit Moscow in September. The White House said Monday that an announcement would be made in the coming days.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow does not understand why Washington is making such an issue over Snowden.
“We had nothing to do with this situation in any way until he appeared in Sheremetyevo (airport), and even afterward we tried in all possible ways to avoid developments that would make this situation anything more than a purely humanitarian issue and about something other than decisions that Snowden had made on his own,” Ryabkov is quoted as saying in an interview with the Interfax news agency.