Snowden Requests Asylum in Austria
Edward Snowden has withdrawn his request for asylum in Russia, but Russia's embassy in Austria has relayed to Vienna a request by Snowden for asylum in Austria.
The computer analyst whistleblower provided a British newspaper, the Guardian, with top-secret NSA documents leading to revelations about US surveillance on phone and internet communications. He is now wanted for arrest by U.S. authorities.
Austria's Minister of Interior said that if Snowden wants to receive asylum in his country, he will have to apply for it directly.
The Austrian News Agency reported that Snowden would not be expelled from Austria if he shows up in Vienna, because there is no international arrest warrant against him.
Edward Snowden has withdrawn his request for political asylum from Russia, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin said Snowden withdrew the request after Putin's statement making clear that he would be welcome only if he stopped "his work aimed at bringing harm" to the United States.
"Snowden really asked to remain in Russia," Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman, said. "Learning yesterday of Russia's position… he abandoned his intentions and his request to get the possibility to stay in Russia."
India said it has rejected a request by Snowden for asylum.
According to WikiLeaks, Snowden has requested asylum from Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela.