02:58 GMT10 May 2021
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    QUITO (Sputnik) - The Foreign Ministry of Ecuador decided to appoint WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange an adviser at the Embassy of Ecuador in Russia, back in 2017, but 10 days later this decision was annulled amid London's refusal to grant Assange diplomatic status, Ecuadorian lawmaker Paola Vintimilla told Sputnik.

    "There is a ministerial agreement [at the Foreign Ministry of Ecuador], according to which Julian Assange was appointed Ecuador's diplomatic representative in Moscow," Vintimilla said.

    The document in question, obtained by Sputnik, is dated December 19, 2017, and signed by Byron Rolando Suarez Sanchez, who was the vice minister of foreign affairs at the time. Prior to this, the WikiLeaks founder received a "special appointment" by the government of Ecuador, which allowed him to work in the country's embassy in the United Kingdom.

    According to the lawmaker, the Ecuadorian authorities "had first to wait for London to agree for Assange to be part of Ecuadorian diplomatic service in the city [London], but they had ready a ministerial agreement, which would have him move to Moscow as a representative of Ecuador."

    "However, since he had no diplomatic immunity to leave the embassy, he could not go to Moscow," Vintimilla said.

    After London refused to grant Assange diplomatic status, Suarez personally voided the agreement which would allow the WikiLeaks founder to work in Moscow. It happened on December 29, 2017.

    READ MORE: Assange Reveals Biggest Threat to Humanity in Latest Released Recording

    Assange has been staying at the Embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012, unable to leave for fear of being detained by the UK authorities.

    Since 2006, WikiLeaks, founded by Assange, has revealed a vast number of classified documents, including sensitive information allegedly related to US diplomats and the American intelligence community. This has led to a criminal investigation into its activities, initiated by US authorities.


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