Swedish prosecutors announced the decision to drop the sex offences investigation against Julian Assange this morning.
Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny said she had decided to “discontinue” the investigation into an alleged sex offence, although it is unlikely to lead to Mr Assange immediately leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
The Wikileaks founder has claimed asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy for almost five years.
Giving a clenched fist salute to his supporters, and scores of journalists and TV crews, Mr Assange maintained a “legal conflict” with the United States and the UK continues.
Mr Assange believes he faces extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy.
Scotland Yard says it is obliged to execute a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the arrest of Mr Assange following his failure to surrender to the court in June 2012, should he leave the embassy.
Mr Assange said: “The road is far from over, the war, the proper war is commencing and the UK has said it will arrest me regardless.”
Speaking on the embassy balcony, Mr Assange branded the news a victory before attacking the EU saying “detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the EU.
He said: “Today is an important victory for me and for the UN Human Rights system. But it by no means erases seven years of detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight.
“Seven years without charge while my children grew up without me. That is not something that I can forgive. It is not something that I can forget.
“The inevitable inquiry into what has occurred in this moment of terrible injustice is something that I hope will be more than just about me.
“Detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the EU.
A feature that has been exploited, in my case for political reasons, but in other cases has subjected many people to terrible injustice.
“In Sweden indefinite detention is a policy, there is no time limit that someone can be detained without charge. That is not how we expect a civilised state to behave.
“Similarly, extradition without charge is not something that we expect from the rule of law in the UK.
“It’s a measure that was introduced as part of the EU system to turn the EU into a federation.
“In 2014 in response to my situation and other abuses the UK government changed the law to prevent further extradition without charge from the UK, but it is still a problem in the rest of the EU.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said extradition requests will be looked at one a “case-by-case basis”.
She said: “In relation to Julian Assange, any decision that is taken about UK action in relation to him were he to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy would be an operational matter for the police.”
The Metropolitan Police stopped its round the clock presence outside the Embassy in October 2015 amid controversy over the escalating cost of the exercise – believed to be more than £12million.
Mr Assange added: “The claim by the UK that it has a right to arrest me for seeking asylum in a case where there have been no charges, which has now been dismissed is simply untenable.
“My legal staff have contacted the UK authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward.
“To some extent the UK has been exploited by the process it entered into with the EU where it agreed to extradite people without charge or any consideration of the facts.
“It is a forced position that the UK has been put into.”
Mr Assange pledged WikiLeaks will continue distributing material about the activities of the CIA in the US, and will “accelerate” its publications.