6 July 2013, 12:05

Asylum for Snowden in Venezuela would be best solution - Pushkov

Алексей Пушков Председатель комитета Государственной Думы РФ по международным делам

Venezuela's decision to offer asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden would be the best solution, says Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma international affairs committee.

“Asylum for Snowden in Venezuela would be the best solution”, Pushkov wrote. – “This country has a sharp conflict with the United States. It won’t be worse".

"He shouldn’t live in Sheremetyevo", - he noted.

It was reported earlier that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered asylum to Snowden.

Venezuela, Nicaragua offer asylum to Edward Snowden

Venezuela and Nicaragua reportedly are prepared to throw Edward Snowden a lifeline -- if he can get there.

The accused NSA leaker has been stuck in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremedevo International Airport for nearly two weeks, with no way to enter Russia, no valid U.S. passport to travel on because the United States revoked it, and no route to safe haven that avoids a U.S. extradition treaty.

The White House declined to comment Friday after the Presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua announced they were prepared to grant NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum.

Although there were no concrete details from Presidents Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua or Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, it is believed that they are the first offers of asylum that Snowden has received since he requested asylum in several countries, including Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The offers came one day after leftist South American leaders gathered to denounce the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane over Europe amid reports that the fugitive American was aboard.

Snowden, who is being sought by the United States, has asked for asylum in more than 20 countries, including Nicaragua and Venezuela. Many another nations have turned him down.

Venezuela's Maduro offers asylum to Snowden

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday he had decided to offer asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has petitioned several countries to avoid capture by Washington. "In the name of America's dignity ... I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to Edward Snowden," Maduro told a televised military parade marking Venezuela's independence day.

The 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor is believed to be holed up in the transit area ofMoscow's Sheremetyevo international airport.

WikiLeaks said on Friday that Snowden had applied to six more nations for asylum, bringing to about 20 the number of countries he has asked for protection from U.S. espionage charges.

Maduro said Venezuela was ready to offer him sanctuary, and that the details Snowden had revealed of a U.S. spy program had exposed the nefarious schemes of the U.S. "empire."

"He has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the U.S. spying on the whole world," Maduro said.

"Who is the guilty one? A young man ... who denounces war plans, or the U.S. government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate President Bashar al-Assad?"

"Who is the terrorist? Who is the global delinquent?"

Russia has shown signs of growing impatience over Snowden's stay in Moscow. Its deputy foreign minister said on Thursday that Snowden had not sought asylum in that country and needed to choose a place to go.

Moscow has made clear that the longer he stays, the greater the risk of the diplomatic standoff over his fate causing lasting damage to relations with Washington.

Nicaragua's President says he would grant Snowden asylum 'if circumstances permit'

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Friday his government was willing to give political asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden "if circumstances permit" it. "We are open, respectful of the right to asylum, and it is clear that if circumstances permit it, we would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua," Ortega said at a public event.

Ortega said his government received an asylum application at its embassy in Moscow.

The US fugitive, whose passport has been revoked by the United States, has been holed up in the Russian capital's international airport, awaiting for a country to give him sanctuary.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, AFP, ABC, FOX News, TASS, Interfax

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