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Kremlin: Snowden Withdraws Request for Asylum in Russia

The Guardian via Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Edward Snowden has apparently changed his mind about seeking asylum in Russia to avoid facing charges of espionage in the U.S. for leaking classified intelligence about the nation's surveillance programs.

On Monday, the former National Security Agency contractor applied for asylum, which Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he'd only accept if Snowden stopped leaking information that hurts U.S. interests.

At the time, Putin suggested that the 30-year-old apparently had no intention of stopping his leaks, forcing him to remain in the transit area of Sheremetyevo Airport, where Snowden arrived from Hong Kong 10 days ago.

It's all a moot point now after the Kremlin revealed on Tuesday that Snowden withdrew his request for asylum, presumably due to Putin's conditions.

Snowden's problems continue since his passport was revoked by the U.S., thus limiting his options.  He had intended to fly to Ecuador but Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa told The Guardian on Monday that he would not consider Snowden’s asylum request unless he reaches Ecuadorean territory, which now seems unlikely.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks’ legal advisor Sarah Harrison has submitted a number of requests for asylum and asylum assistance on behalf of Snowden.

The requests were made to the Republic of Austria, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Republic of Finland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Spain, the Swiss Confederation and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Previously, Snowden requested asylum from the Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Iceland.

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