NSA whistleblower Snowden withdraws application for political asylum in Russia

Moscow, July 2 (Xinhua-ANI): Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden aborted his intention to ask for political asylum in Russia, Kremlin said Tuesday.

"He withdrew his application to stay in Russia," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

On Monday, Snowden, acting via his solicitor, handed a refugee application to the Russian authorities in a Moscow airport.

He has been in the transit area of the Sheremetyevo airport for eight days after arriving here from Hong Kong.

Peskov noted that Russia would not extradite the 29-year-old whistleblower to the United States because he could face capital punishment there.

According to Peskov, Snowden asked for political asylum in 15 countries.

The Kremlin spokesman stressed that Russia could approve Snowden's application only on condition that the U.S. citizen stops his anti-U.S. activity.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would not hand over Snowden, former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, to the United States. (Xinhua-ANI)

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