NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. He left Moscow's airport Thursday for the first time in more than a month.
Credit Tatyana Lokshina / AP
This post was last updated at 2 p.m. ET
The White House says it is "extremely disappointed" in Russia's decision to grant a temporary one-year asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Snowden left Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Thursday after spending more than a month holed up in its transit center. Anatoly Kucherena, a Russian lawyer who has been advising the former U.S. intelligence contractor, told Russian media that Snowden's whereabouts are being kept secret for security reasons.
Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps insisting that he doesn't want the case of a fugitive American intelligence contractor to harm relations between Russia and the United States.
But Edward Snowden remains an irritant, stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of a Moscow airport.
A Putin spokesman said Friday that the issue is being discussed by the Russian federal security service — the FSB — and the FBI, but it may be that Snowden has become a problem that can only be solved at the top of the two governments.
Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with <em>The Guardian</em>.
Credit Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras / EPA/Landov
"The United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder has told his Russian counterpart in a letter about the "NSA leaker" who remains in legal limbo at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.
The silver medal design for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Credit Olga Maltseva / AFP/Getty Images
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a shudder through the Olympic world Wednesday when he told American Olympic network NBC that the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants the asylum request of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden.