Where will Snowden end up?

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Former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, has reportedly applied for asylum in 27 countries - but only three so far have indicated they might be prepared to take him in.

Mr Snowden, who spent weeks stranded at Moscow airport, is facing espionage charges in the United States after leaking details of internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence.

Some of the countries to which applications have made "will not be named at this time due to attempted US interference," said the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, which is assisting Mr Snowden.

However even if a country accepts his request for asylum, getting there could prove difficult. European airspace could be closed to any aircraft suspected of carrying the fugitive.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Nicolas Maduro (L) and Daniel Ortega have voiced support for Mr Snowden

Countries ready to grant asylum

Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro said he had decided to offer Edward Snowden "humanitarian asylum" so that he could "live away from the imperial North American persecution".

Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega said his country would grant Mr Snowden's request "if circumstances permit it".

Bolivia: President Evo Morales described Mr Snowden as "persecuted" by the US government, and said he was willing to grant the former analyst asylum if he sought it.

Countries which have so far given no response

Cuba, Iceland, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland (Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland - applications must be in country to seek asylum)

Countries unlikely to offer asylum

Brazil, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Poland, Austria, India, China, Russia (Austria, Finland, Ireland, Spain - applications must be in country to seek asylum)

Brazil: A Foreign Ministry spokesman said it would leave the asylum request unanswered.

Ecuador: It was thought this was where Edward Snowden was headed, but President Rafael Correa has since said offering assistance to Mr Snowden was "a mistake".

India: The Washington Post reported that a foreign ministry spokesman for India saw "no reason to accede to the request".

Poland: Foreign minister said grants of asylum were contingent on being in Poland's interests and this pre-requisite had not been met.

Russia: A presidential spokesman said Mr Snowden had withdrawn his asylum request because he was unwilling to comply with President Vladimir Putin's condition to stop any activity damaging to the US.