Former US intelligence officer Edward Snowden received a Russian passport after swearing allegiance to a country that has been harboring him from US authorities since 2013. The Guardian.
Snowden, 39, the former intelligence officer who leaked the classified files, was granted Russian citizenship under a decree signed by Vladimir Putin in September.
Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on December 2 that his client had received his passport. “He took the oath,” the lawyer said.
The decision was made at an extremely unfavorable moment - after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent immersion of the Russian Federation into international isolation. Russia mobilized its population for war and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend its occupied territory in Ukraine.
Kucherena said Snowden was "happy" and Russian citizenship would prevent his extradition.
“He is, of course, happy and grateful to the Russian Federation for his citizenship - now he is a full-fledged citizen of Russia,” Kucherena said. “And most importantly, according to the Russian constitution, he cannot be extradited to a foreign state.”
Persons receiving Russian citizenship are obliged by law to “observe the constitution and legislation of the Russian Federation, the rights and freedoms of its citizens, perform the duties of a citizen of the Russian Federation for the benefit of the state and society, defend the freedom and independence of the Russian Federation, be faithful to Russia, respect its culture, history and traditions."
Snowden's wife Lindsey Mills is also reportedly applying for Russian citizenship. They live in an unknown location in Russia with their two sons who were born in Russia.
In September, Snowden wrote: “After many years of separation from our parents, my wife and I do not want to part with our sons. After two years of waiting and almost 10 years of exile, a little stability will change my family. I pray for privacy for them - and for all of us."
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As ForumDaily wrote earlier:
- Former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden told The Washington Post and The Guardian in June 2013 a number of secret materials about surveillance programs of the US and UK intelligence agencies on the Internet.
- In 2015, Snowden said that the British intelligence services have a whole range of tracking software for smartphones that have the name of a set of "smurfs" - after the heroes of the comic strip Pierre Cullifort. In the same year, the story of a former National Security Agency systems analyst was put into the basis the film directed by Oliver Stone, simply called "Snowden".
- In 2019 Edward Snowden wrote a memoir, and also gave an interview in which he announced his readiness to return to the United States from Russia, where he now lives.
- In 2020, Edward Snowden received permanent residence permit in Russia. First, he was granted asylum in Russia, then a residence permit, and then he announced intention to apply for a Russian citizenship.
- In the same year of 2020, 7 years after Edward Snowden disclosed information about large-scale surveillance of American telephone conversations, the Court of Appeal recognized this surveillance program illegal.
- 26 September 2022 years Snowden received Russian citizenship. The decree was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.