American Whistleblower Edward Snowden got stuck in Moscow because Cuba denied him entry under U.S. pressure, a Russian newspaper reported on Monday.
Mr. Snowden was forced to stay in Russia after the U.S. threatened Cuba with “consequences” if he arrived in Havana aboard Aeroflot’s flight, said the Kommersant newspaper citing sources.
Havana informed Moscow that the Aeroflot plane would not be allowed to land, it quoted unidentified “informed” sources as saying.
Mr. Snowden had arrived in Moscow on June 23 planning to fly on to Havana the next day, but did not show up for the flight though he had checked in.
After spending 40 days in the transit zone , Mr Snowden was was granted temporary asylum in Russia.
A source close to the American State Department confirmed to the daily Cuba among others was warned any help would entail “adverse consequences.”
In another revelation, The Kommersant daily said Mr Snowden had spent a couple of days in the Russian consulate in Hong Kong, where he even celebrated his 30th birthday.
A source within the Russian government confirmed to the paper that Mr Snowden had spent two days at the Russian consulate, which he contacted on his own initiative.
“He said his life was in danger because of his rights activities and asked for assistance on the basis of international refugee conventions,” the source told the Kommersant.
“His choice of route and his plea to help were a complete surprise to us. We did not invite him,” the source stressed.