Confusion mounts: Has NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden accepted Venezuela's offer of asylum?
Head of Russian foreign affairs committee announces that he has accepted the offer in a tweet but quickly deletes it
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum, the head of Russian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee said on Tuesday.
Alexei Pushkov made the statement on his Twitter account, but quickly deleted it just minutes after it was posted.
Mr Pushkov then returned to Twitter minutes later and said that the information posted stating Snowden accepted the offer had originated from Russian news site Vesti 24, adding "all questions to them" at the end of the tweet.
Mr Pushkov has acted as an unofficial point-man for the Kremlin on the Snowden affair. The Kremlin declined to comment on Tuesday's developments.
Snowden, who revealed details of a US intelligence program to monitor Internet activity, came to Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on 23 June and was believed to be headed for Cuba. But he did not board that flight and has not been seen since. He is widely believed still to be in the airport's transit zone.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Saturday his country hadn't yet been in contact with Snowden, who has been unable to travel further because the US annulled his passport.
For Snowden to leave for South America, he would need for Venezuela to issue him travel documents and he would need to find a way to get there. The only direct commercial flight from Moscow stops in Havana, Cuba.
The Moscow-Havana flight goes over Europe and the US, which could cause complications. Some European countries refused to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales to fly through their airspace on his way home from Moscow last week because of suspicions that Snowden was on his plane.
The presidents of Bolivia and Nicaragua also said over the weekend that Snowden was welcome in their countries.
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