Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was on Wednesday (July 24) granted documents that will allow him to leave a Moscow airport where he is holed up, an airport source said on Wednesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details of U.S. government intelligence programmes, was expected to meet his lawyer at Sheremetyevo airport later on Wednesday after lodging a request for temporary asylum in Russia.

Immigration authorities declined immediate comment.

Prior to these reports there were no signs of unusual activity or heavy police presence at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Wednesday early afternoon.

Russian media reported that the meeting between Snowden and the Russian lawyer may have started at 1200 GMT and Snowden may leave the transit zones within the next few hours.

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