A senior Russian lawmaker tweeted on Tuesday that former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has accepted Venezuela's offer of asylum - and then deleted it a few minutes later.

"Snowden has given his agreement to (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro's offer of political asylum," Alexei Pushkov, the pro-Kremlin chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia's lower parliament house, had originally said on Twitter.

Edward Snowden is wanted in the United States on espionage charges, after leaking details of several top-secret U.S. and British government mass surveillance programs to the press last month.