MOSCOW, July 24 (RAPSI) - The decision on fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden's future being in Russia will be made by the Federal Migration Service and the Border Guard Service of Russia, based on security risks evaluation, says former deputy migration head Vladimir Volokh.
Volokh says that Russian law grants five days as preliminary stage for evaluating a foreigner's asylum claim. During these five days, necessary paperwork and formalities are sorted out. After that, a decision upon denying or going forward with an asylum request is made.
"Concerning the question of whether Snowden could leave the transit zone, I have serious doubts about that. Even if the asylum request goes forward officially, that decision will be the Border Guard Service's to make," - Volokh told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
He stressed that while Snowden is still a foreign citizen, him moving around Russia unrestricted may prove to be a security risk.
"He is a fugitive, his life may be in danger and to assume he can just up and leave the transit zone is premature." Vladimir Volokh said.
Snowden, who faces prosecution in the United States for leaking highly sensitive classified data about the US National Security Agency's surveillance activities, submitted a request for temporary asylum in Russia last week, having been holed up in the transit zone of a Moscow airport since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23.
He is still waiting for a decision by the Russian migration authorities.
Washington has repeatedly called on Moscow to reject Snowden's request for asylum and send him back to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage and theft.