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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora