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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.