The mystery continues as to the whereabouts of fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden.
It appears he has not yet left Russia and is still waiting in limbo at a Moscow airport.
He is believed to be seeking asylum in Ecuador.
However, the Ecuadorian government has said that it has not received any asylum application from Snowden, who must make the request in person in Ecuadorian territory, such as an overseas embassy or consulate.
The affair has led to diplomatic strains between the United States and the countries which Snowdon has so far fled to.
Ecuador, not known to enjoy a particularly friendly relationship with the US, has taken the opportunity to criticise the United States’ human rights record.
Ecuador’s Political Affairs Minister Betty Tola, said:
“We would like to emphasise that Mr Snowden’s revelations relate to secret espionage programs around the world which go against the international legal order. Penalties for the offenses for which he is accused could be contrary to the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights which, unfortunately, the United States has not ratified.”
Snowden fled the US earlier this month after leaking details of secret U.S. government surveillance programmes.
The revelations have caused great embarrassment to the United States, who is keen to have Snowden extradited and brought back to the US for trial.