An influential Russian parliament member encouraged National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to accept Venezuela’s offer of asylum.
Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee in Russia’s parliament, posted a message on Twitter saying, “Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum.”
Pushkov’s comments appeared to indicate that the Kremlin is now anxious to be rid of the former National Security Agency systems analyst, whom the US wants returned to face espionage charges.
For Snowden to leave for South America, he would need for Venezuela to issue him travel documents and he would need to find a way to get there. There is a direct commercial flight from Moscow goes to Havana, Cuba, and Snowden had booked a seat on this flight the day after arriving from Hong Kong, but failed to show up.
The Moscow-Havana flight goes over Europe and the US, which could cause complications.
Pushkov joked that if Snowden does not find shelter in Venezuela,“ he will have to stay and marry Anna Chapman,” the redheaded Russian spy who was among 10 sleeper agents deported from the US in 2010. The 31-year-old Chapman proposed to Snowden, who just turned 30, on Twitter in early July.