Spy marriage jokes abound after Snowden’s proposal
MOSCOW: Russian ex- spy Anna Chapman has proposed marriage to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, who is stuck without documents in a Moscow airport, in an increasingly bizarre turn of events that unleashed excitement in Russia.
“Snowden, will you marry me?!” the undercover spyturned-media celebrity asked the world’s most famous refugee on Twitter late on Wednesday.
In a separate tongue- incheek Tweet, she asked Snowden’s former employer, the National Security Agency: “(at)nsa will you look after our children?”
Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23 and has spent nearly two weeks in legal limbo in an airport transit zone.
Chapman was deported from the US in 2010 along with nine other Russian spies in a major exchange with Washington.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that he was unaware whether Chapman’s proposal was serious, and declined to comment further, noting he was not Chapman’s “legal representative”.
Chapman’s Tweet unleashed a deluge of witty online remarks, with one commentator quipping that the prospective couple’s children would all be “James Bonds and Mata Haris”.
An online cartoon depicted an auburn-haired woman and a bespectacled man being married in a civil ceremony, with the officiant legalising the union saying: “And only failure or exposure will bring you apart.”
On a more serious note, a lawyer took to the airwaves to discuss the possible union, while the Interfax news agency, citing a source familiar with the situation, said yesterday Snowden’s legal status would change if he tied the knot with the Russian.
“In this case, Snowden would have legal grounds to request Russian citizenship and therefore receive state protection from his new country of residence,” the source was quoted as saying.
But the consular service at Sheremetyevo Airport, where Snowden has been marooned, said it did not legalise marriages.
However comical, Chapman’s proposal brings into focus the increasingly absurd diplomatic quagmire presented by Snowden’s airport stay.
The 30-year-old, who is seeking to evade US justice for leaking details about a vast US elec- tronic surveillance program, has been unable to leave Moscow after Washington revoked his passport. – SapaAFP
PRO SNOWDEN: A demonstrator holds a sign with a photograph of Edward Snowden and the word ‘’HERO’ during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in Boston.