Vladimir Putin has awarded Edward Snowden Russian citizenship almost a decade after Snowden fled the United States in order to avoid prosecution for disclosing sensitive information from the National Security Agency.
After releasing critical materials, Snowden, a former US intelligence contractor, fled the United States in 2013 and was granted refuge in Russia. He is currently living in Russia.
Officials in the United States have been pushing for him to be extradited back to their country for years so that he can face espionage charges there.
According to the decision, Snowden is one of 75 individuals born outside of Russia who have been granted Russian citizenship. The edict was made public on a website that is officially associated with the government.
Since 2013, Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the United States National Security Agency, has been residing in Russia in order to avoid prosecution in the United States for leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs. These documents were leaked after Snowden disclosed these programs to the public.
In the year 2020, he was awarded permanent residency, and at the time, he stated that he intended to seek for Russian citizenship while simultaneously maintaining his citizenship in the United States.
Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s lawyer, informed RIA Novosti that his American wife Lindsay Mills will also seek for a Russian passport.
In December 2020, they had a child.
Snowden, who has maintained a low profile in Russia and has occasionally criticized the policies of the Russian government on social media, stated in 2019 that he was eager to return to the United States provided he was assured that he would receive a fair trial there.
He has not made any remarks regarding the acquisition of Russian citizenship.