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Edward Snowden: Russia offers to consider asylum request


Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, in the Kremlin's latest move to woo critics of the west.

Snowden fled the United States before leaking the details of a top-secret US surveillance programme to the Guardian this month. He is currently believed to be in Hong Kong, but has reportedly changed hotels to keep his location secret.

Fearing US retaliation, Snowden said at the weekend that "my predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values", citing Iceland as an example. He defended his decision to flee to Hong Kong by citing its relative freedom compared with mainland China.

Snowden is not known to have made any asylum requests, including to Russia. Yet speaking to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said: "If such an appeal is given, it will be considered. We'll act according to facts."


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