Putin grants Russian citizenship to NSA leaker Edward Snowden

Jakarta

Russian President Vladimir Putin granting Russian citizenship to a former intelligence contractor for the United States National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden. Snowden once exhibited massive surveillance by the US National Security Agency and got protection from Russia.

As reported AFPOn Tuesday (9/27/2022), President Putin’s decree included Edward Joseph Snowden, born on June 21, 1983 in the newly printed register of Russian citizens. The decree comes as relations between Washington and Moscow are at an all-time low due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Snowden said in November 2020 that he had applied for Russian citizenship but would try to keep US citizenship.

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The former US intelligence contractor revealed in 2013 that the US government was spying on its citizens. Snowden has lived in exile on Russian soil since the revelations.

Moscow several years ago relaxed its strict citizenship laws to allow people to be in possession of Russian passports without denying them their original citizenship.

Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that his partner Lindsay Mills will also apply for Russian citizenship and that their daughter already has a Russian passport having been born in the country.

Putin last week announced the mobilization of male Russian citizens to contribute to the military battles in Ukraine and Kucherena, saying Snowden would not be called to serve because he had no previous experience in the Russian military.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov meanwhile told the news agency that Snowden had received Russian citizenship at his request.

(rfs / idn)

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