Monday, September 26, 2022

BREAKING: Russia grants Snowden citizenship

Sept 26 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday granting Russian citizenship to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden, 39, fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor.

U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges.

Snowden was already allowed to travel freely in the country as part of his residency permit, but citizenship will give him added benefits.

The whistleblower has served as a constant critic of the U.S. government in exile through social media as well as several media appearances.

Putin, a former Russian spy chief, said in 2017 that Snowden, who keeps a low profile while living in Russia, was wrong to leak U.S. secrets but was not a traitor.


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