Moscow: The former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has a chance to receive political asylum from Moscow if he requests it, a Russian official said Thursday.

"It can be considered by the President if Snowden files such a request," media reported citing Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council.

Noting that he approached the situation from the perspective of human rights protection rather than foreign policy, Fedotove said, "A person, disclosing secrets concealed by special services, if these secrets are a threat to millions of people ... such a person does deserve political asylum in this or that country."

"I think it will be the right thing to do if they do grant him asylum," Fedotov said.

“The whistleblower must be under the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees throughout this procedure,” Fedotov added.

Snowden has been charged by the US government with three felonies, including two under the Espionage Act. He arrived in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 23.  But he could neither cross the Russian border nor buy another air ticket out since he does not have a Russian visa while his passport was annulled.


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