|Snowden took cover at Russian consulate in HK
Edward Snowden, who exposed large scale illegal US intelligence gathering, contacted Russian officials before he flew to Moscow and spent several days at the country's diplomatic mission in Hong Kong, a newspaper said today.
The Kommersant, citing a source close to Snowden, said the former US National Security Agency contractor had spent several days at the Russian consulate-general in Hong Kong before boarding an Aeroflot flight to Moscow in late June.
Snowden even celebrated his 30th birthday there, the source was quoted as saying.
A Western source confirmed the information to the newspaper.
It is likely that “Russians themselves invited Snowden, passing the invitation on to him via the Chinese who were happy to get rid of him,'' the western source was quoted as saying.
A source in the Russian government confirmed to Kommersant that Snowden was at the Russian consulate in Hong Kong for two days until he left for Moscow.
The source however said Snowden had turned up uninvited, adding that he had planned to fly to Latin America via Moscow and asked for help, citing international conventions on the rights of refugees.
Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23. After spending more than a month in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, he received temporary asylum in Russia. –AFP