13:30 GMT25 February 2020
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    By urging EU members to stop the persecution of Edward Snowden, the European Parliament showed its independence from the United States, the chairman of the independent non-profit organization Workshop of Eurasian Ideas told Radio Sputnik.

    The fact that the EU Parliament recognized Snowden as a human rights activist and urged the countries of the EU to provide protection to the former NSA employee shows that Europe is tired of getting bullied by Washington, and decided to show its independence by refusing to follow White House orders, Grigory Trofimchuk, the chairman of the Workshop of Eurasian Ideas, argued.

    "I think that Europe's decision — is not simply a formal document, but the intentional act of defiance to Washington which goes against US policy on the Snowden issue… [Europe] gladly seized the opportunity to demonstrate its independence," Trofimchuk told Radio Sputnik.

    This is the EU Parliament's response to US policies in the Middle East and North Africa that led to the refugee crisis in Europe as well as Washington's attempts to draw Europe into a continent-wide war because of the Ukrainian conflict, Trofimchuk argued.

    This is a serious statement on behalf of the EU. "The crack" in relations between the United States and the EU has already appeared and might increase further down the road, the political expert said, adding that it's highly likely that Washington now might come up with retaliatory policies.

    The US government might use a whole range of powerful mechanisms at its disposal in an attempt to put the EU back in its place.

    Last week, the EU Parliament adopted a resolution, calling the EU states to end any persecution of whistleblower Edward Snowden and give him protection.

    "By 285 votes to 281, MEPs decided to call on EU member states to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender," the press service said in a statement.

    Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, released in 2013 a trove of classified documents detailing bulk US intelligence data collection in the United States, Europe and many other targets around the world.

    Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia in August 2013, before receiving a three-year residency permit from the country the following year.

    In the United States, he may face up to 30 years in prison on espionage charges for his revelations regarding the depth of the illegal surveillance activities by the US intelligence community. 

    Related:

    Danish Parties Push for Vote on Asylum for Whistleblower Snowden - Reports
    European Parliament Demands an End to Persecution of Snowden
    Hypocrisy 101: US Backs Free Speech for Dissidents Abroad, Except Snowden
    Tags:
    human rights, US hegemony, National Security Agency (NSA), European Parliament, European Union, Edward Snowden, United States
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