The father of American fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has admitted that his son "betrayed the government" and broke the law by leaking classified information, but insists that he is not a traitor to his country.
Lonnie Snowden has concerns for his son, who is still apparently in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
"I don't feel that he's committed treason. He has broken US law in the sense that he has released classified information. And if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact he has betrayed his government, but I don't think he has betrayed the US people," Lonnie Snowden told NBC News.
"I love him, I would like to have the opportunity to communicate with him," he added.
Lonnie Snowden's lawyers have sent a letter to the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, on his son's behalf, saying that he is confident the whistleblower will return to the United States provided he can choose where his trial will be held, he is not kept in custody before any trial and not subject to a gagging order.
Meanwhile, Ecuador said it had not completed processing the NSA hacker's asylum application.
Edward Snowden is believed to be in the no-man's land transit area of Sheremetyevo International Airport in the company of at least one WikiLeaks adviser.
A Russian official told Interfax news agency that Moscow had been left in a difficult position by Washington's failure to disclose that Snowden's passport had been revoked and he was banned from travel.
He said that Moscow might not have allowed the whistleblower to fly to Russia in the first place had it known about his travel ban.
Russia's position on Snowden remains ambivalent. President Putin has said: "The sooner he selects his final destination point, the better both for us and for himself."
However, the Russian leader has also said that Snowden can't be turned over to US authorities as he has committed no crime on Russian soil.
There is no extradition agreement between the United States and Russia.
Snowden has been charged by US authorities with theft of government property and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence information.
Speaking at a news conference on the first day of his tour across Africa on Saturday, President Barack Obama said he wasn't willing to wheel and deal or use US fighter jets to force down any airline flight carrying Edward Snowden.
He said he would stick to orthodox channels for extradition, not resort to extraordinary methods.
"I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker," the president said.