Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower [Reuters].

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appears to have withdrawn his application for asylum in Russia after an ultimatum from President Vladimir Putin

It was earlier reported that Snowden had submitted asylum applications to 21 more countries, including Russia and China.

However the application to Moscow was reportedly retracted after Putin decreed that Snowden would only be granted asylum if he ceased all anti-American activity.

Snowden remains holed up in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Putin had indicated that Moscow would be willing to consider asylum for the former CIA employee, prompting the submission of an asylum request via the anti-secrecy organisation Wikileaks.

"The requests were delivered to an official at the Russian consulate at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow late in the evening. The documents outline the risks of persecution Mr Snowden faces in the United States and have started to be delivered by the Russian consulate to the relevant embassies in Moscow," Wikileaks said in a statement.

'I am a stateless person'

The other countries petitioned by Snowden include several European nations and Latin American countries including India, Italy, Bolivia, Venezuela and the Netherlands.

According to local reports, India is unlikely to consider granting refuge for the whistleblower, considering the potential problems this could cause with Washington.

Meanwhile Snowden, who is currently holed up in a Moscow airport, has hit out at Obama and the US government for putting pressure on Ecuador to blocking his request for asylum.

"Although I am convicted of nothing, it [the Obama administration] has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum," said Snowden.

"I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many."

Despite Snowden's attempt to secure asylum, Washington officials still hope to bring the whistleblower back to the US, through close co-operation with Russian authorities.

"There have been high-level discussions with the Russians about trying to find a solution to the problem. We are hopeful that the Russian government makes decisions based on the normal procedures regarding international travel and the normal interactions that law enforcement have," said Obama during his Tanzania trip.

Where Edward Snowden has asked for asylum