Russia grants Edward Snowden permanent residency; not considering citizenship application, says lawyer

The Associated Press
·1-min read

Moscow: Former US security contractor Edward Snowden has been granted permanent residency in Russia, his lawyer said Thursday.

Snowden, a former contractor with the US National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the US after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs.

"Today, Snowden was handed a residency permit for an unlimited period of time," his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Russia's state Tass news agency.

Kucherena told the Interfax news agency that the application was submitted in April, but because of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, it took immigration authorities more time to consider it. Snowden was able to obtain permanent residency rights because of the changes in Russia's immigration laws made in 2019, the lawyer said.

Kucherena added that Snowden is not considering applying for Russian citizenship at the moment.

Snowden, who has kept a low profile in Russia and occasionally criticised Russian government policies on social media, said last year that he was willing to return to the US if he's guaranteed a fair trial.

Also See: One NASA astronaut, two Russian cosmonauts touch down on Earth after 196-days in space

Mike Pompeo says China, Russia, Cuba getting elected to UN Human Rights Council is a 'win for tyrants'

'Felt sorry for Mike Pence': Kamala Harris' Indian uncle reacts to the vice-presidential debate

Read more on World by Firstpost.