The father of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has met his son for the first time since the latter took refuge in Russia, according to INTERFAX news agency.

According to an informed source, Lon Snowden met his son on Thursday after landing in Moscow, where his son had spent more than a month in transit limbo before Moscow agreed to grant him temporary asylum, the news agency reported on Friday.

Lon Snowden said he had had no direct contact with his son in recent months, and said he did not yet know what his plans were. "I really have no idea what his intentions are," he said.

"I'm not sure that my son will be returning to the US," he told journalists. "That's his decision, he's an adult."

I have extreme gratitude that my son is safe, secure, and free (in Russia).

Lon Snowden, father of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

"I have extreme gratitude that my son is safe, secure, and free" in Russia, he said, repeating that he believed his son to be a "whistleblower" rather than a criminal.

Snowden arrived in Moscow on June 23 from Hong Kong with a revoked US passport.

There has been no reported sighting of him since he walked out of the airport on August 1 after obtaining temporary asylum in Russia despite protests from Washington.

The 30-year-old former CIA worker is wanted by the US after revealing to the media details of massive domestic and foreign surveillance by the National Security Agency.

Russia has granted Snowden one year temporary asylum but the United States wants him to be extradited to face charges over his leaking of details of US surveillance programmes. 


His lawyer Kucherena has said he is living in a secret location in fear of being tracked down by US law enforcers.

Source: Agencies