President Vladimir Putin Grants Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former US security contractor Edward Snowden, according to a decree signed Monday by the Russian leader.

Snowden is one of 75 foreigners to be granted Russian citizenship under the decree. The decision has been published on an official government website.

Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, has lived in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the US after the leak of classified documents describing government surveillance programs.

He was granted permanent residency in 2020 and said at the time that he intended to apply for Russian citizenship, without relinquishing his American citizenship.

Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti that Lindsay Mills, the wife of the former contractor, an American who has lived with him in Russia, will also apply for a Russian passport.

The couple had a child in December 2020.

Snowden, who has kept a low profile in Russia and has occasionally criticized the Russian government’s policies on social media, said in 2019 he was willing to return to the US if given a fair trial.

He has not commented on obtaining Russian citizenship.


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