Vladimir Putin: “He should cease his work aimed at damaging our American partners”
US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has applied to Russia for political asylum, Russian officials say.
Foreign ministry consul Kim Shevchenko said the request was made on Sunday night. The Kremlin has made no comment.
The 30-year-old former CIA analyst is believed to be holed up in a Moscow airport hotel.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Mr Snowden was welcome to stay as long as he stopped “inflicting damage on our American partners”.
The US has not yet made any comment on the latest developments.
President Barack Obama, speaking earlier in Tanzania, said Washington and Moscow had held “high level” discussions about Mr Snowden.
“We are hopeful the Russian government makes decisions based on the normal procedures regarding international travel and the normal interactions law enforcement have,” he told reporters.
According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Mr Snowden’s application for asylum was handed to a consular official at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport late on Sunday evening.
The application was delivered by Sarah Harrison, a member of the Wikileaks legal team acting as Mr Snowden’s representative, Kim Shevchenko was quoted by the news agency saying.
Russia’s Federal Migration Service has denied the report, which appeared in the New York Times earlier.