Edward Snowden withdraws request for asylum in Russia; says Kremlin


MOSCOW: The National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has withdrawn his request for political asylum from Russia, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Snowden withdrew the request after Russian president Vladimir Putin’s statement making clear that he would be welcome only if he stopped “his work aimed at bringing harm” to the United States, a spokesman for Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said

“Snowden really asked to remain in Russia,” the spokesman said. “Learning yesterday of Russia’s position… he abandoned his intentions and his request to get the possibility to stay in Russia.”

Russia has refused to hand over Snowden, charged under espionage laws in the US after leaking top-secret documents on US surveillance programmes.

The former NSA contractor has been kept hidden away since 23 June, when he landed in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport from Hong Kong.

His attempts to win asylum have been fraught with difficulty.

The President of Ecuador Rafael Correa said that his country, whose London embassy is sheltering WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was not considering Snowden’s asylum request.

Correa also said Ecuador never intended to facilitate Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong, calling his London consul’s decision to issue temporary travel documents to Snowden “a mistake”.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human 🙂 Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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