22 Oct 2020 15:20

Snowden gets unlimited residency permit in Russia

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) - Former CIA employee Edward Snowden has received a permit for unlimited residency in Russia, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said.

"Today, the Russian migration services issued Snowden a Russian residency permit on an unlimited basis," Kucherena told Interfax on Thursday.

The provision of an unlimited residency permit to the runway American, who received asylum in Russia due to his prosecution in the United States, became possible after Russian immigration legislation changed in 2019, he said.

The lawyer also said Snowden applied for a residency permit with the migration services back in April 2020. "We believe our request was considered for such a long time due to certain problems in the work of bodies of state authority caused by the restrictions associated with the pandemic," Kucherena said.

Responding to a question whether Snowden plans to receive Russian citizenship, Kucherena said, "Such a question is not currently on the agenda."

In 2013, Snowden provided information to the media on U.S. special services surveillance programs worldwide. The reports drew a broad public response. In the United States, he was charged with espionage in absentia, as well as theft of government property. Snowden left the U.S. for Hong Kong and then ended up in Russia.