No asylum request from Snowden, says Russia's foreign minister

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Russia's foreign minister says his nation has not received an asylum request from the American who has identified himself as the person who leaked details of a secret National Security Agency surveillance programme.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is visiting Brazil. He said on Tuesday that if a request arrives from Edward Snowden, "we will examine that request".

Mr Lavrov says he won't speculate on the likelihood of any such request - nor what action Russia would take if it were received.

Mr Snowden fled to Hong Kong after leaking word of a tracking programme that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans and taps into computers of many Internet services to retrieve information about foreigners living outside the US.

Mr Lavrov is in Brazil to deepen diplomatic and trade ties.