MOSCOW, July 9 (Itar-Tass) - Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said on Tuesday he had learnt about NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s accepting a Venezuelan political asylum offer from a news broadcast.
“Information about Snowden’s accepting the political asylum offer from Maduro was aired in a Vesti 24 news broadcast at 18:00. Please contact them if you have any questions,” he wrote in his Twitter blog.
Earlier, the lawmaker wrote in his Twitter blog that Snowden had accepted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s offer. "Snowden predictably agreed to Maduro's political asylum proposal. Apparently, Snowden found this option the most reliable," Pushkov twitted.
On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said "we have received the asylum request letter. He will have to decide when he flies, if he finally wants to fly here."
"We told this young man, 'you are being persecuted by the empire /the USA/, come here,'" Maduro said
Over the weekend, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia all offered political asylum to Snowden.
Edward Snowden, 30, a former CIA staffer, divulged highly classified electronic espionage programs his agency was implementing in the USA and all over the world. The exposure caused a scandal which is still gaining moment. Snowden went to Hong Kong from the USA, and then flew to Moscow, in order to leave for the state which could grant him political asylum. However, he became stranded at an international airport in the Russian capital. According to diplomatic sources, he is currently staying in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport.