Snowden's hopes of leaving airport dashed
Updated: 2013-07-25 08:00
Kucherena confirmed Snowden was staying somewhere in the many corridors and rooms of the transit area between the runway and passport control - an area Russia considers neutral territory - and that he had learned the Russian for "Hi", "Bye-bye" and "I'll ring you."
The 30-year-old had received calls from across Russia, with offers to give him money and a place to stay, and even a suggestion by one woman to adopt him. He said he had enough money to get by for now.
Kucherena said he had brought him fresh underwear and shirts and added that he had given him the novel "Crime and Punishment" by 19th Century writer Fyodor Dostoevsky and short stories by Anton Chekhov.
President Vladimir Putin signaled last week that he did not want the dispute to derail Russia's relations with the United States, and the decision on temporary asylum could be delayed until after US President Barack Obama visits Moscow for a summit in early September.
It will be Putin's first summit with Obama since the former KGB spy started a new term last year, and precedes a subsequent G20 summit in St. Petersburg.
Both Russia and the United States have signaled they want to improve ties, strained by issues ranging from the Syrian conflict to Putin's treatment of opponents and Western-funded non-governmental organisations since he started a third term in 2012.
Putin has said Snowden must stop anti-US activities. Snowden has said he does not regard his activities as hostile to the United States but Kucherena said last week that he had agreed to halt such actions.
Snowden, who has been assisted by the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group, has not been seen in public since June 23 although he had a meeting at the airport with human rights groups on July 13.
He fears the United States will persuade its allies to prevent him using their airspace, or that his plane might be forced down so that he can be taken into custody and extradited.
Kucherena said earlier this week that he did not rule out Snowden seeking Russian citizenship.
There has already been diplomatic fallout from Snowden's leaks, which included information that the US National Security Agency bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, although the Union is an ally.
China, Brazil and France have also voiced concern over the spying programme.
US relations with Latin American states have been clouded by the refusal of four US allies in Europe to let a plane carrying Bolivia's president home from Moscow use their airspace.
US lawmakers were also clashing over the case as the House of Representatives debated the 2014 defense spending bill.
Michigan Republican Justin Amash has proposed an amendment that would bar the NSA from collecting telephone call records and other data from people in the United States not specifically under investigation.
Obama opposed Amash's amendment, saying it would "hastily dismantle one of our intelligence community's counterterrorism tools."