Many thought Julian Assange would attempt to claim asylum in Ecuador after living in its London embassy for almost five years.
Swedish 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.
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.
He will not try to leave and to claim asylum in France
Julian Assange's lawyer Juan Branco
Juan Branco, a lawyer representing the WikiLeaks founder, said Mr Assange will now seek political asylum in France.
However it remains unclear how he will make the journey to France without being arrested.
Mr Branco said: “He will not try to leave and to claim asylum in France.”
Despite plans to claim asylum in France, the Ecuadorian government is stepping up its efforts to allow Mr Assange to continue his asylum in Ecuador.
Julian Assange is to claim asylum in France after being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy
Julian Assange has lived in Ecuador's London embassy for nearly five years
Ecuador's foreign minister Guillaume Long said: “Ecuador regrets that the Swedish Prosecutor delayed more than four years in carrying out this interview.
“This unnecessary delay was despite the repeated insistence from the Ecuadorian government – ever since the granting of asylum in 2012 – that this interview was not only possible but that Ecuador would facilitate its carrying out in our Embassy.
“Ecuador was clear from the outset that it would fully co-operate with the Swedish justice system. As I once again stated in a letter to the Swedish state on May 8, Ecuador has regularly criticised the conduct of the Swedish Prosecutor in this case as wholly unacceptable and which has led to unnecessary delays in progressing this case.
“Given that the European Arrest Warrant no longer holds, Ecuador will now be intensifying its diplomatic efforts with the UK so that Julian Assange can gain safe passage in order to enjoy his asylum in Ecuador.”
Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny said she had decided to "discontinue" the investigation
The Metropolitan Police stopped its round the clock presence outside the Embassy in 2015
Mr Assange believes he faces extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy.
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.”
Scotland Yard said: “Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on June 29 2012. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy.
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It is believed that Julian Assange chooses to live in Sweden because the country's media laws are among the world's most protective for journalists
“Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime.
“Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.
“The priority for the MPS must continue to be arresting those who are currently wanted in the capital in connection with serious violent or sexual offences for the protection of Londoners."
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.