American and former CIA analyst, Edward Snowden, sought by the justice of his country, has resigned to seek political asylum in Russia, announced Tuesday Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Snowden has given up his intention and his request to be allowed to stay in Russia,” Peskov said.
Although the Russian president said Monday that he will not surrender Snowden to the U.S., he did announce that Snowden would have political asylum in Russia only if he stopped “harming” the interests of the United States.
Putin also said that the former CIA analyst is not an agent of Russia and is not working with the secret services of his country.
The former agent is accused of espionage by the United States, after revealing how the National Security Agency (NSA) spies on everyone, including US allies in Europe and Asia. Snowden’s information helped unmask the illegal surveillance and spying programs of Washington, which has raised some tension between the United States and some European allies such as France and Germany. Meanwhile in Russia, Vladimir Putin has show his support for illegal spying such as the type conducted by the NSA, which is why he had requested that Snowden stopped the leaks before he could apply for political asylum.
Snowden continues in the transit area of ??the Moscow International Airport. He has requested asylum and aid from at least 21 countries including Spain, Ecuador and Russia. According to Wikileaks, Snowden is now awaiting an answer from Spain, whose Foreign Ministry has confirmed the arrival of the request without giving more details for now.
“On June 30, 2013, the legal advisor of Wikileaks, Sarah Harrison, delivered a series of applications for asylum and assistance on behalf of Edward Snowden” explained the organization headed by Julian Assange in a statement.
The documents were delivered to a Russian consulate official in Sheremetyevo International Airport in the Russian capital and, according to Wikileaks, show “the risk of persecution faced by Mr. Snowden in the United States.” Besides espionage, the former analyst has been charged with theft and conversion of government property.
Other applications for asylum were also sent to Iceland, China, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and Venezuela. In a written statement released by Wikileaks, the computer expert accused the U.S. president, Barack Obama, of leaving him “stateless”. The United States has mounted a diplomatic campaign to warn countries not to allow Snowden in as their guest.
Snowden broke his silence on Monday thanking Ecuador for helping him get to Moscow and examining his asylum claim: “I feel free and able to post information that serves the public interest”, he said.
The former American spy defined his espionage leaks as an attempt to “shed light on this secret system of injustice” which, he said, “the U.S. government has responded with an extrajudicial hunt. Snowden said he remains committed to “the struggle for justice in this unjust world.”
Snowden’s revelations were first made public last June 7, when he revealed to British newspaper The Guardian and The Washington Post that the National Security Agency of the United States (NSA) has a program called PRISM, through which it access the servers of nine Internet companies, with their consent, to gather private user data.