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Russia granted National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum. Snowden has legal status in Russia for one year, his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said earlier Thursday, adding that his client left the Moscow airport.
Russian expert and editor of The New Republic Julia Ioffe spoke with Snowden's attorney, who said the former NSA contractor is "not wanting for job offers, that they've just been pouring in."
One job offer came from Russia's largest social network, the lawyer told Ioffe.
"It look a lot like Facebook, suspiciously like Facebook, and has the added bonus of giving users access to a whole trove of pirated music, TV shows, and movies," said Ioffe.
And it appears Snowden will need a new source of income, according to his lawyer.
"He hinted that Snowden's money has basically run out, that he's been living on in this hotel in the transit zone. Now he says his father and his American attorney are going to step in, they're going to help him out," said Ioffe.
One of the big questions for Snowden is will there be any attempt by the Russian government to get him to come to them, and reveal more information.
"I have a feeling that's already happened," said Ioffe. "You have Snowden insisting this whole time that he's been in Sheremetyevo [airport] he has not talked to the Russian secret service," said Ioffe.
But a couple days ago, speaking about Snowden, "a deputy prime minister who is very close to Vladimir Putin came out and said 'We didn't learn anything new,'" said Ioffe.
At the beginning of the Obama administration, there was the big reset, the attempt for Obama administration to have a better relationship with Russia. The fact that Russia just denied the request of the U.S. to hand Snowden over, indicates things have gone awry.
"It seems like things are in a deep freeze right now. Compare this to the spy swap we had three summers ago... when ten Russian sleeper agents were found by the FBI all over the U.S. There was a quiet swap arranged, the spies just crossed the tarmac, got into their separate planes, flew away, and that was it," said Ioffe.
"Here we've had this slow grinding for over a month," said Ioffe. "People in the White House that I've talked to are extremely angry at the Russians. They're increasingly throwing their hands up and saying, 'You know what, how can we even work with these people? What are they good for?'" said Ioffe.
The problem is the U.S. needs Russia a lot more than Russia needs the U.S., said Ioffe.
There is talk of the U.S. possibly boycotting future summits with Russia. Obama was supposed to take a side trip to Moscow after the upcoming G20 summit, to meet one-on-one with Putin – a meeting that may still take place.
"What's amazing is today, this was just a such a big slap in the face of the U.S., they gave Snowden asylum – and the U.S. is still saying, 'Well, we're thinking about it, we don't know,'" said Ioffe.