Ecuador tried to give Assange Russia post

Jack Taylor  Getty Images Europe

Jack Taylor Getty Images Europe

The designation was revealed in a letter written past year to opposition legislator Paola Vintimilla by Ecuador's foreign ministry, which was obtained by Reuters.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, fearing he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves.

According to a Friday report from Reuters, it even went so far as to try and name him to a diplomatic position in Russian Federation but backed down after Britain refused to grant Assange diplomatic immunity. "Julian Assange so that he can carry out functions at the Ecuadorean Embassy in Russian Federation, ".

In preparation to become an Ecuadorean diplomatic official, Reuters added, Assange penned a letter retracting his request for political asylum that Vintimilla insists means the Wikileaks founder should be kicked out of the embassy. Ecuador could have given Mr. Assange diplomatic documents, and he could have then been picked up from the embassy by Russians and taken away in diplomatic vehicle, the report said.

The ex-hacker's links to the Kremlin would become increasingly salient before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation says Russia's military intelligence agency directly supplied WikiLeaks with stolen emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman and other Democratic figures.

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US President Donald Trump faces an investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russian Federation to win that election.

Assange has denied receiving the stolen emails from Russian Federation.

Citing four sources, The Guardian said Russians held secret talks in London a year ago with people close to the Australian-born WikiLeaks publisher on the subject of potentially facilitating his safe exit from the embassy, his residence since 2012.

The plan was ultimately abandoned as it was too risky.

"The Embassy has never engaged either with Ecuadorian colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russia's participation in ending Mr Assange's stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador", Russia's embassy in London wrote on its website in a response to The Guardian story.

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"The Guardian" has now claimed that Russian officials were involved in a "basic" plan to extract the Wikileaks founder from the embassy on Christmas Eve previous year and fly him to Russia.

Reuters was unable to obtain comment from Russia's foreign ministry on Ecuador's plan to make him a diplomat there.

Details emerged about the incident through a letter from the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry to a legislator.

The Australian was planning to eventually travel to Ecuador, the letter says.

Vintimillia said at a press conference (Spanish) in Quito on Thursday that Assange's citizenship should be rescinded.

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Ecuador's president Moreno has said Assange's asylum cannot be eternal, but has also been reluctant to abruptly halt it on concerns that Assange's human rights could be at risk.

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