Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking classified intelligence, has gathered up his belongings and could leave the Moscow airport transit area in the next few hours, Russia's Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.
"At this time, the American is preparing to leave. They are going to bring him new clothes. The document that will allow him to leave the transit area at Sheremetyevo airport will be given to him (Wednesday) by attorney Anatoly Kucherena," the news agency said, citing an unidentified source.
The attorney for the American fugitive spent the morning at the Federal Immigration Service, the official RIA-Novosti news agency reported, citing another unidentified source.
Snowden filed an asylum request with the immigration service a week ago.
The 30-year-old Snowden has been stuck in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport since June 23, when he arrived on a commercial flight from Hong Kong.
Snowden said earlier this month that he was prepared to refrain from making further revelations about Washington's global electronic spying if Russia granted his request for political asylum.
The former intelligence contractor traveled to Russia with plans to board another flight for Cuba en route to asylum in Ecuador, but that plan fell apart and the U.S. government, which is charging him under the 1917 Espionage Act, revoked his passport.
While Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered Snowden refuge, he has struggled to find a way to reach Latin America without crossing the airspace of the United States or its allies.
Snowden exposed Washington's targeting of the telephonic and Internet communications of tens of millions of private citizens in the United States and abroad. EFE