Snowden withdraws Russian asylum request

The former US intelligence agent, Edward Snowdon, has withdrawn his request for political asylum from Russia after Putin had made clear that he would be welcome only if he stopped harming US interests. This was confirmed by the Kremlin on 2 June.  

In the US, Snowden is charged under espionage laws after having leaked details on top-secret US cyber spying programmes to the press and has been staying in the transit area of Moscow airport for almost ten days. His attempts to gain asylum have been fraught with difficulties, with several countries having received a corresponding request announcing that they will not cooperate. In addition to Russia, Snowden had made asylum requests to 21 countries, including Venezuela, China, Bolivia, France and Germany.