MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – US fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden stayed in Moscow in late June and did not fly to Cuba because Cuban authorities would have denied him landing under US pressure, a Russian business daily reported Monday citing sources.
The Kommersant daily reported that Cuban authorities had notified Moscow an Aeroflot aircraft would not be allowed to land with Snowden on board because the United States had warned Cuba and some other states against aiding Snowden.
Snowden, a former contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA), is wanted by the United States on espionage and other charges after he gave journalists classified documents detailing the NSA’s far-reaching electronic and telephone surveillance programs.
Snowden flew to Russia from Hong Kong on June 23 and was supposed to continue his way to Havana, but did not. He formally requested temporary asylum in Russia on July 16.
Washington repeatedly called on Moscow to reject his request and send him back to the United States to stand trial, but in vain. Snowden was granted the asylum in early August.