HONG KONG/MOSCOW - Fugitive former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was seeking asylum in Ecuador on Sunday after Hong Kong allowed his departure for Russia in a slap to Washington's efforts to extradite him on espionage charges.
In a major embarrassment for US President Barack Obama, an aircraft thought to have carried Snowden landed in Moscow on Sunday, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said he was "bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum."
Earlier, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, visiting Vietnam, tweeted: "The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden."
The United States continued efforts to prevent Snowden from gaining asylum. It warned Western Hemisphere nations that Snowden "should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States," a State Department official said.