ISTANBUL SEP 26, 2022 – DAILY SABAH
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree granting citizenship to former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden on Monday.
Snowden is one of 75 foreign nationals listed by the decree as being granted Russian citizenship. The decree was published on an official government website.
Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs.
He was granted permanent residency in 2020 and said at the time that he planned to apply for Russian citizenship, without renouncing his U.S. citizenship.
Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since the summer of 2013 after spending weeks in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Russia’s immigration service in 2017 extended Snowden’s residency permit to 2020 after Russian authorities granted it on Aug. 1 in 2014.
The U.S. has charged him with espionage and theft of state secrets after he released thousands of classified documents. At home, Snowden may face 10 years in federal prison on criminal charges including espionage. U.S. officials frequently stated that they will not pardon Snowden, describing his action as “betrayal.”