Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) speak to the media after touring the Hannover Messe 2013 industrial trade fair on April 8, 2013 in Hanover, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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.