Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked information on the US National Security Agency's surveillance programs, reportedly said that he'd be open to pursuing Russian citizenship.
"He does not rule out the possibility of asking for Russian citizenship," said lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who has assisted Snowden with his asylum bid, according to Agence-France Presse. "He told me: 'I am not going to go anywhere from Russia.'"
Snowden has stayed within the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport for days, and made a public appearance in front of human rights activists last week making his case for asylum.
Read more from GlobalPost: Edward Snowden formally seeks asylum in Russia
According to the Voice of Russia, Kucherena, a prominent lawyer, said it was unlikely the Kremlin would deny such a request from Snowden, adding that the American feels "cornered."
Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday with the country's Federal Migration Service. Russia does not have any legal reason to extradite him, Kucherena said.
"There is not reason to give him to the United States," he said.
Kucherena said Snowden was concerned for his life and safety, and planned to remain in the airport transit zone if he was denied asylum by Russia.
The ex-contractor fled the United States as his revelations about government surveillance were published in the Guardian and other newspapers. He made his way to Hong Kong, and then to Russia, and has since applied for asylum in multiple countries.
A handful of Latin American countries, including Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered Snowden asylum.