Snowden speaks in public on seeking temporary asylum in Russia

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA (CNN) - Edward Snowden dared to step out in public at a Moscow airport on Friday.

The man accused of leaking U.S. intelligence met with human rights activists and lawyers, in his first appearance since he left Hong Kong in June.

Phil black reports on Snowden's latest movements at the airport and his decision to seek temporary asylum in Russia.

Edward Snowden is increasingly a frustrated man. He has no travel documents and few options- so that's why he called a group of human rights workers, based in Russia, to the airport where he has been effectively camping out, we believe, for the last three weeks or so.

Phil Black, CNN Reporter Moscow: "It was during this meeting that he made a statement, some of which was on video, it was the first time that we've seen or heard from him since he arrived in Moscow.

Edward Snowden: "A little over a month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time."

It was during this meeting that Snowden announced a fairly significant change in his plans, he no longer wants to make the direct jump to one of the Latin American countries, like Venezuela, that has offered to protect him permanently, instead he says wants the Russian government to grant him asylum here, so he can stay here at least temporarily.

He says he has come to this conclusion, this decision, out of necessity, he now knows and believes, should he try to fly to Latin America from Russia, it is very likely that the United States and its allies will do all they possibly can to intercept him.

This is not the first time Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia; he withdrew a previous application because the response from the Russian government was he would have to stop any and all activity aimed at hurting the United States.

At the time, he said that was not something that he could tolerate, but now he believes that is a condition that he can live up to.

Phil black, CNN, Moscow.

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