US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has applied to Russia for political asylum, Russian officials say.

Foreign ministry consul Kim Shevchenko said the request was made on Sunday night. The Kremlin has made no comment.

The 30-year-old former CIA analyst is believed to be holed up in a Moscow airport hotel.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Mr Snowden was welcome to stay as long as he stopped "inflicting damage on our American partners".