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Did Edward Snowden Actually Apply to Russia for Asylum?

The Guardian via Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Edward Snowden remains at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, still a man without asylum.

Russia has denied reports that it received a request for asylum from the former National Security Agency contractor even after Snowden said during a news conference with lawyers and human rights advocates late last week that he had asked Moscow to allow him to stay there.

Snowden blamed the U.S. for blocking him from traveling to Latin America, where he might successfully avoid extradition to stand prosecution on espionage charges for leaking information to the media about classified NSA surveillance programs.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that his government had no contact at all with Snowden although Washington has serious doubts about that assertion given how Snowden was allowed to hold a press conference with activists supporting his cause.

Snowden is hoping that human rights groups will appeal his case to the Russian government even as offices of two of the organizations -- Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch -- were raided by Russian authorities this year.

In spite of his public remarks, Snowden appears no closer to gaining asylum in Russia as its Federal Migration Service claims they have not received any application from him.

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