U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on Russia to cease sheltering international fugitive Edward Snowden and release him immediately into the custody of the United States.
Menendez also warned Ecuador's government led by President Rafael Correa not to grant Snowden asylum, adding that such a decision would severely jeopardize the preferential trade access provided to goods from Ecuador under the Generalized System of Preferences which is presently before the Congress for renewal.
"Edward Snowden is a fugitive who has endangered the national security of the United States," said Menendez. "His actions merit prosecution, not praise. Snowden has overstayed his welcome at the Moscow airport. I call on the Russian government, in the interest of justice, as well as U.S.-Russian relations, to release him into the custody of the U.S. Government today."
Menendez added, "Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior. If Snowden is granted asylum in Ecuador, I will lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador's duty-free access under GSP and will also make sure there is no chance for renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act. Trade preferences are a privilege granted to nations, not a right. I urge President Correa to do the right thing by the United States and Ecuador, and deny Snowden's request for asylum."