Ecuador decries US ‘blackmail’ over Snowden
Quito unilaterally pulls out of preferential trade pact with Washington as it considers US leaker’s asylum request.

Ecuador has pulled out of a trade pact with the United States, claiming it had become an instrument of “blackmail” for Washington as Quito considers whistleblower Edward Snowden’s asylum request.

Snowden, whose custody the US is seeking on espionage charges after he leaked classified information on a widespread secret surveillance programme, is believed to be currently hiding at the Moscow airport, where he arrived from Hong Kong on Sunday.

But despite voicing support for the former National Security Agency contractor, Ecuador is yet to consider his asylum application.

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