Edward Snowden has reportedly been a Russian passport and sworn an oath of allegiance to the country, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena informed Russian state media on Friday.
Snowden was initially granted asylum in Russia in 2013 after he leaked several classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents, and further down the line was given resident status in Russia in 2020.
In the same year, Snowden said that he intended to seek dual citizenship, tweeting that “after years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son.”
“Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love, including the freedom to speak his mind,” Snowden said at the time. “And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited.”
After receiving Russian citizenship in September, Snowden tweeted that “a little stability will make a difference for my family.”
Kucherena told the Russian news agency Interfax that Snowden’s wife Lindsay Mills will follow suit and apply for Russian citizenship. The couple now have two children, both of whom were born in Russia.
As The Washington Post reported, the US State Department said Friday that it is “aware of the reports” about Snowden’s new passport but is “not in a position to confirm or deny whether Mr. Snowden has acquired Russian Federation citizenship.”
Snowden remains a wanted man in the US on charges of espionage. Former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have both called for Snowden to be pardoned for his role in exposing the NSA’s mass surveillance of American citizens.
In 2013, Snowden applied for asylum in a myriad of countries, he came close to moving to Ecuador before making the decision to stay in Russia. Snowden has remained active in American politics on social media.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THETIMES.CO.UK
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