Edward Snowden was granted asylum on Thursday. Well, temporary asylum.
According to RT News, the NSA whistleblower is free to stay in Russia until July 31, 2014. It is not known where Snowden will be staying in Russia, CBS reported, but he was seen leaving the Moscow Airport on Thursday. Snowden had been held at the airport since June 23 after the United States canceled his passport.
The Washington Post believes the decision to allow Snowden asylum will hurt Russia’s relationship with the United States. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) had some very harsh words for Russia. Schumer said, “Russia has stabbed us in the back. Each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife.”
BBC News said most Russian publications are in favor of Snowden’s asylum. Some publications wrote that the United States was “evil” to Snowden. DUMA deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov believed Russia should have a say in things, after Snowden was held in their country. He told Kommersant,a business paper in Russia, “Any other decision would mean that Russia would lose face. If we didn’t give Snowden asylum, Russia would no longer be factored into decision-making, especially by the Americans.”
Still, people believe Snowden will have a difficult time living in Russia. Snowden does not speak Russian, and BBC reported that Russian analyst Nikolay Ziobin said in regards to corporate ethics that Snowden would be labeled a traitor in any country. Andrew Kuchins, director of the Russian and Eurasia program, told the Washington Post that Snowden would be watched closely under a microscope, and if he makes one wrong move, “Putin will crush him like a bug.”
For now, Snowden is safe. Only time will tell if he can avoid being convicted of espionage charges altogether.