U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden is asking Russia for asylum, according to legislators and activists who met him at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Friday.

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch told the Interfax news agency that Mr. Snowden explained his decision based on the fact that European and North American countries are preventing him from travelling from Russia. “He wants to stay as long as he cannot fly to Latin America,” Ms. Lokshina said.

It would be the second time that Mr. Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. on espionage charges, applies for asylum in Russia. He retracted a first request last week after President Vladimir Putin demanded that he must stop releasing sensitive U.S. information.

Russian legislator Vyacheslav Nikonov said that Mr. Snowden had agreed “not to further damage U.S interests”, Interfax reported.

source: the hindu