The father of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow on Thursday to meet his son, but journalists gathered at the airport were told they had no chance to witness their reunion.
Speaking to reporters at Sheremetyevo Airport, Lon Snowden thanked Russian authorities for granting Edward Snowden temporary asylum and expressed doubts his son would ever return to the U.S.
“I am not sure my son will be returning to the U.S. again,” senior Snowden said, adding though that he had “no idea what his intentions are”.
Junior Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who met Mr. Lon Snowden at the airport, said the father and son would meet at a secret location and their meeting would be off bounds to the media.
“We know that journalists are dying to know where they would meet but our top concern is Edward’s safety,” Mr. Kucherena said.
The lawyer said the car he and senior Snowden were riding from the airport to a Russian TV studio for an interview had been tailed by “about five cars”.
“I don’t know who those people were, but it made us feel nervous,” Mr. Kucherena said.
Mr. Snowden’s father said he would spend two weeks in Russia and other members of their family could come later to meet his son. He voiced “extremely gratitude” to the Russian government for giving shelter to his son and said Russia was the only place in the world where his son could feel safe.
Mr. Kucherena, who claims to be Mr .Snowden’s “only link to the outside world”, has consistently refused to disclose Mr. Snowden’s whereabouts, saying only that Snowden Jr. (30) had private bodyguards and occasionally ventured out to take a walk.
Last week, a Russian tabloid posted a photo it claimed was of Snowden Jr. pushing a cart full of groceries.
In several recent interviews Mr. Kucherena said that Snowden Jr. still feared for his safety.
“Snowden’s former colleagues could try to use the arrival of the parents to track down his location,” the lawyer told the Itogi magazine. “I have definite information, which I can’t reveal now, which suggests the danger level is very high.”