Ecuador to consider granting asylum if Snowden applies: president
MOSCOW – If fugitive U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden applies for political asylum in Ecuadorian territory, the Ecuadorian authorities will consider accepting the appeal, President Rafael Correa said Tuesday.
“If he (Snowden) comes to our diplomatic mission in some country and asks for political asylum, we will accept his application, consider all the legal aspects, and make our decision, ” Correa told reporters at a press conference in Moscow after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Asked about the possibility of granting asylum to Snowden, Correa said Ecuador will act primarily in compliance with its principle, “not in compliance with conveniences,” Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
The international law and the Ecuadorian Constitution empower the country’s government to “grant political asylum to those whom they find needed,” Correa added, replying to a question about the U.S. pressure on Ecuador over possible political asylum.
Earlier this month, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor met with his father in Russia.
Snowden’s Russian attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, said the 30-year- old “is leading a quite reclusive lifestyle these days” because he is being persecuted by the U.S. government and the danger lingers.
Snowden faces espionage charges by the U.S. government after disclosing a classified intelligence project code-named PRISM. He received a one-year asylum in Russia after being marooned in a Moscow airport for more than a month.