Russia official: Venezuela last chance for Snowden

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 July, 2013, 7:09pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 July, 2013, 7:15pm


MOSCOW (AP) — An influential Russian parliament member who often speaks for the Kremlin is encouraging NSA leaker Edward Snowden to accept Venezuela's offer of asylum.

Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee in Russia's parliament, posted a message on Twitter on Sunday saying: "Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum."

Russian officials say Snowden has been in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong two weeks ago, unable to travel further because his U.S. passport was annulled.

Pushkov's comments appear to indicate that the Kremlin is anxious to be rid of the former National Security Agency systems analyst, who the U.S. wants returned to face espionage charges.