President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday granting Russian citizenship to a former US intelligence officer. Edward Snowden.
Snowden, 39, fled from United State He obtained asylum in Russia After secret files were leaked in 2013 that revealed extensive domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the US National Security Agency, where he worked.
US officials have for years wanted Snowden to return to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges.
Edward Snowden during an online participation in the Web Summit in Lisbon on November 4, 2019 – Photo: Rafael Marchante/Arquivo/REUTERS
There was no immediate reaction from Snowden, whose name appeared without any comment from the Kremlin on a list of 72 foreign-born individuals whom Putin was granting citizenship.
Snowden, 37, leaked classified files that revealed massive domestic and international surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) when he was serving an organization linked to the US Department of Defense.
US authorities have been trying for years to extradite Snowden so he can stand trial for leaking.
Edward Snowdem during an online appearance at an event in Moscow, Russia, in September 2021 – Photo: Olesya Astakhova/Reuters/Archive
In 2019, when he was a refugee in Russia, Snowden said that “the saddest thing in any case (information leak) is that the only place an American informant can speak is not in Europe, but here (in Russia)”.
In 2020, Moscow granted Snowden the right of permanent residence, paving the way for him to obtain Russian citizenship.
Putin, the former head of Russian intelligence, said in 2017, that Snowden, who had kept a low profile while living in Russia, was at fault for leaking US secrets but was not a traitor.
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