Snowden withdrew the request after Russia’s president Putin announced that that he would be welcome only if he stopped “his work aimed at bringing harm” to the United States.

“Snowden really asked to remain in Russia,” Dmitry Peskov, a Kermlin spokesman, said. “Learning yesterday of Russia’s position… he abandoned his intentions and his request to get the possibility to stay in Russia.”

This twists adds to the uncertainty of Snowden’s future, reports The Guardian. 

A WikiLeaks statement released early on Tuesday said that in addition to Ecuador and Iceland, Snowden had made asylum requests to 19 countries, including Venezuela, China, Bolivia, France and Germany. 

Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, said the country was not considering Snowden’s asylum request, and Finland and POland have already said they will reject the applications.

However Nicolas Maduro said Venezuela would examine the asylum request once it was received. “We think this young person has done something very important for humanity, has done a favour to humanity, has spoken great truths to deconstruct a world… that is controlled by an imperialist American elite,” he said.

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