News / USA

    Snowden Drops Asylum Bid for Russia: Official

    An employee distributes newspapers, with a photograph (L) of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden seen on a page, at an underground walkway in central Moscow, July 2, 2013.
    An employee distributes newspapers, with a photograph (L) of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden seen on a page, at an underground walkway in central Moscow, July 2, 2013.
    VOA News
    A Russian official says fugitive American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has dropped his bid for asylum in Russia, even as reports emerged that he is seeking political refuge in 19 other countries.

    A spokesman for Vladimir Putin says Snowden changed his mind after the Russian president said Monday he could only stay in the country if he stopped leaking sensitive U.S. intelligence.

    The spokesman also confirmed Snowden remains in the transit zone of a Moscow airport, where he fled eight days ago from Hong Kong and has continued to reveal top-secret U.S. surveillance operations.

    Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy group that has supported Snowden, says it has submitted asylum requests to 19 more countries on his behalf, including China, India, Brazil and several European nations. It said this is in addition to earlier asylum requests to Ecuador and Iceland.

    But many of the countries have already said they will not consider an asylum request from Snowden unless he applies on their soil. India said Tuesday it sees "no reason" to accept the request.

    The 30-year-old, who faces espionage charges in the U.S., broke his weeklong silence Monday, accusing the Obama administration of pressuring countries where he is seeking protection.

    In a statement posted on Wikileaks, Snowden accused the White House of "using citizenship as a weapon," saying the United States has "unilaterally revoked" his passport in a move that he says left him a "stateless person." The U.S. State Department says revoking a passport and allowing only travel home to the United States on a temporary document is standard procedure when a U.S. citizen faces serious criminal charges.

    While Putin said Russian security agencies had not contacted Snowden, he said Moscow has no plans to turn him over to the United States.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he briefly discussed Snowden during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at security summit in Brunei. Kerry said he raised U.S. concerns, but defined the discussion as "not substantive."

    Ecuador is also believed to be considering Snowden's asylum request. But Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Sunday that it could do nothing about the request until Snowden reached its territory. He also said the White House has pressured him to reject any such claim.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: kafantaris from: USA, Ohio
    July 02, 2013 11:51 PM
    We've lost our moral compass in dealing with Snowden. Let him go where he wants. The damage is done. There's much work ahead of us here at home. We need to come to terms with things; we need to find ourselves. We need to heal as a people and as a nation. This'll take time. That's OK. We'll take it slow.

    by: GH1618 from: Oakland
    July 02, 2013 9:22 AM
    Snowden is confused. He is not "stateless," he is a US citizen. Should he choose to come home, the United States will welcome him with open arms (and handcuffs). Revocation of his passport is standard procedure for anyone wanted on a felony warrant, but Snowden thinks he is special. Poor boy!

    by: Jack from: Getze
    July 02, 2013 6:05 AM
    Were Mr. Snowden half the hero he thinks he is, he would come home and face prosecution and trial so that his alleged patriotism could be put on display and more discussed by all. Keep the debate alive, Big Ed. Many many people and the media are on your side -- you might get off. Come on home.

    by: Anonymous
    July 02, 2013 6:00 AM
    He is not a spy, the US is!!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora