FILE - In this June 21, 2013 file photo, a banner supporting Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, is displayed at Central, Hong Kong's business district. The Hong Kong government says Snowden wanted by the U.S. for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has left for a "third country." The South China Morning Post reported Sunday, June 23, 2013 that Snowden was on a plane for Moscow, but that Russia was not his final destination. Snowden has talked of seeking asylum in Iceland. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
MOSCOW (AP) -- The Interfax news agency says a Russian consular official has confirmed that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden asked for political asylum in Russia.
Interfax cited Kim Shevchenko, the duty officer at the Russian Foreign Ministry's consular office in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, as saying that Snowden's representative, Sarah Harrison, handed over his request Sunday.
Snowden has been caught in legal limbo in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23. The U.S. has annulled his passport, and Ecuador, where he has hoped to get asylum, has been coy about offering him shelter.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin says Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia, but adds that Snowden has no plan to quit doing so.