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Whistleblower: Snowden wants to become a Russian citizen

Last updated on March 9, 2021

US whistleblower Edward Snowden is still hoping to return to the US. But because of the birth of his son, he plays it safe.

Edward Snowden wants to become a Russian citizen. (Image: Brendan McDermid / Reuters)

Former US intelligence officer Edward Snowden wants to become a Russian citizen. "After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no interest in being separated from our son. For this reason, in times of pandemics and closed borders, we apply for dual US-Russian citizenship," wrote Snowden on Monday on Twitter . Snowden announced that he and his wife Lindsay wanted to remain US citizens. According to media reports, the child will be born in December.

Snowden had only been granted permanent residence just under two weeks ago. His lawyer Anatoly Kucherena had said on the occasion that the question of Russian citizenship was not currently an issue. If Snowden had been in Russia for more than five years, the lawyer had declared in January 2017 .

Snowden said he wanted to raise his son on US values "that we love, including freedom of expression . " He continues to look forward to a return to the USA so that the whole family can be reunited. "Our greatest wish is that our son feels at home wherever he lives," said Snowden.

Former US intelligence agent Snowden exposed the surveillance practices of US intelligence agencies such as the NSA in 2013. He has been in exile in Russia since August 2013. There he was stranded at the airport on his escape because the USA had canceled his passport and he could not continue to Ecuador as planned. Since fleeing more than seven years ago, his residence permit has been extended several times.

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A return to the USA currently appears unlikely. There was speculation a good two months ago that US President Donald Trump could pardon the whistleblower . However, Trump himself had declared that he wanted to "look very closely" at the case. There has apparently been no further movement on the matter since then.

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