Moscow, July 9 (IANS) American whistleblower Edward Snowden has agreed to take political asylum in Venezuela, a Russian lawmaker said Tuesday.
"As was expected, Snowden agreed to (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro's offer of political asylum," Xinhua quoted Alexei Pushkov, head of the international affairs committee in Russia's lower house of parliament, as posting on Twitter.
"Apparently, Snowden found this option the most reliable," he wrote.
But the tweet was later removed, and Pushkov said in a new message that he had learnt of Snowden's decision from a news report on Russian state TV channel Vesti 24.
Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have all offered political asylum to Snowden.
Venezuelan President Maduro confirmed Monday that his country received the asylum request letter.
Snowden "will have to decide when he flies, if he finally wants to fly here", the president said.
The 30-year-old Snowden was charged by the US with three felonies after he disclosed a highly classified surveillance project codenamed "PRISM", which can intercept e-mails and phone conversations of people around the world.
He arrived at Moscow's Sheremetyevo international airport June 23 and has since stayed in the transit zone after his US passport was revoked. He has reportedly applied for asylum in 21 countries.