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Snowden's exit from transit area not confirmed: airport


08:31, July 25, 2013

MOSCOW, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport had not received any confirmation U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden would leave the transit area, an airport spokesperson said Wednesday.

"If Snowden gets permission to leave the airport, we'll be informed about it to arrange the work of mass media and other services here," Anna Zakharenkova, head of the airport's press service, told Xinhua.

Zakharenkova said no one had informed the airport Snowden planned to leave the transit area "today or make any public appearance."

If that happens, "all necessary conditions for him to go through customs and border will be provided ... I don't think Snowden will be offered some special treatment," she said.

Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer assisting Snowden with his application for asylum in Russia, indicated earlier the former CIA contractor may be granted papers that allow him to leave the transit area, where he has been holed up for a month.

Dozens of journalists have gathered at the airport, desperately hoping for a dramatic appearance by Snowden, who had his first contact with anyone in Russsia in a closed door meeting with lawyers and human rights activists at the airport earlier this month.

The Federation Migration Service offered no comment on the alleged granting of a clearance, the Itar-Tass news agency said.

Snowden, who arrived at the airport on June 23, was charged by the U.S. government with three felonies, including two under the Espionage Act, after disclosing a highly classified surveillance project code-named PRISM.

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