The former US spy agency contractor facing charges of espionage remained in hiding at a Moscow airport on Wednesday, while the prospect grew of a protracted Russian-US wrangle over his fate.
Ecuador, where Edward Snowden has requested asylum, said a decision could take weeks and asked Washington to argue its case for extradition. Russia said Snowden, whose flight is proving a growing embarassment for President Barack Obama, was still in the transit area of Sheremetyevo airport.
Snowden fled to Hong Kong after leaking details of secret US government surveillance programmes, then flew on to Moscow on Sunday. There was no sign on Wednesday of him registering for onward flights out of Russia.
“They are not flying today and not over the next three days,” an Aeroflot representative at the transfer desk at Sheremetyevo said when asked whether Snowden and his legal adviser, Sarah Harrison, were due to fly out.
“They are not in the system.” The logical route for Snowden to take out — and one for which he at one point had a reservation — would be an Aeroflot flight to Havana and a connecting flight to Ecuador.