Snowden has allegedly been trapped at the airport since arriving from Hong Kong. He traveled to Hong Kong on a “safe pass” issued by the Ecuadorean counsul in London.
However, since that point, Ecuador appeared to have backed off Snowden, claiming he is “under the care of Russia” and that Russia hasn’t let him leave:
PORTOVIEJO, Ecuador (AP) — Edward Snowden is “under the care of the Russian authorities” and can’t leave Moscow’s international airport without their consent, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa told The Associated Press Sunday in an interview telegraphing the slim and diminishing possibility that the National Security Agency leaker will end up in Ecuador.
Correa portrayed Russia as entirely the master of Snowden’s fate and said Ecuador is still awaiting an asylum request from Snowden before deciding its next moves.
In the meantime, the Russians have let no grass grow under their feet and now claim that his WikiLeaks rep, Sarah Harrison has handed them an asylum request.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia, but adds that Snowden has no plan to quit doing so.
It wasn’t a good idea to go to Hong Kong. But Hong Kong was infinitely better than Russia from a personal point of view for Snowden.
Now having gone to Russia “in transit” under the auspices of WikiLeaks, and in the company and under the advice of Julian Assange’s paramour, Sarah Harrison, Snowden finds himself in a bit of a pickle. Frankly, once he went to China, you could not be sure he was operating freely.
But now, unless he were a Russian agent, he can’t be happy to apparently be stuck in a Russian airport, with his options so slim.