MOSCOW (AP) — Former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden has been granted permanent residency in Russia, his lawyer said Thursday.
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.
“Today, Snowden was handed a residency permit for an unlimited period of time,” his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Russia’s state Tass news agency.
Kucherena told the Interfax news agency that the application was submitted in April, but because of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, it took immigration authorities more time to consider it. Snowden was able to obtain permanent residency rights because of the changes in Russia’s immigration laws made in 2019, the lawyer said.
Kucherena added that Snowden is not considering applying for Russian citizenship at the moment.
Snowden, who has kept a low profile in Russia and occasionally criticized Russian government policies on social media, said last year that he was willing to return to the U.S. if he’s guaranteed a fair trial.
- PHOTOS: El Dorado Christmas Parade brings holiday cheer
- ‘I came out with no shoes on walking on ice,’ Help a 100-year-old woman rebuild after her home was destroyed by fire
- Republicans push back on 2020 election results, despite warning of backlash in GA runoff election turnout
- Donate a toy to the annual “Stuff the Bus” event for kids in Northeast Louisiana
- Helping the elderly during a pandemic; What services are provided through United Way’s 2-1-1