Updated at 12:56 p.m.
A Russian immigration official said Monday that Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges for leaking information on National Security Agency surveillance programs, has applied for political asylum in Russia, according to the New York Times.
The anonymous official told the Times that the asylum application was delivered to a Russian consulate within Moscow’s international airport by Sarah Harrison, an activist with the Wikileaks organization who is escorting Snowden.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that Snowden had met with Russian diplomatic officials Monday to deliver a request to 15 countries for political asylum, citing a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry.
For Snowden to remain in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said the fugitive “must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners.”
Interfax has reported that a Russian consular official said Snowden did ask for asylum in Russia.