U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden© REUTERS/ Courtesy of The Guardian/Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 12 (RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that he has no information about US whistleblower Edward Snowden seeking asylum in Russia.
“I haven’t heard about there being a formal [asylum] request from Snowden,” Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Russia will review the request if one is filed, Lavrov added.
The possibility of Snowden getting asylum in Russia was first mentioned by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who was quoted by Kommersant daily earlier Tuesday.
Snowden, who is currently in hiding and was last seen in Hong Kong, made no statement on the issue. He named Iceland earlier as a potential refuge.
Snowden, 29, who worked for US defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, hit the media spotlight last week after he leaked to press information about an extensive surveillance program by the US government, which allegedly monitored phone and electronic conversations of millions of Americans.
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Infographics: World War I, 1914-1918
If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.