According to a decree issued on Monday, President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden, a former employee of the US NSA who has been a refugee in Russia since 2013.
Along with dozens of others, Mr. Snowden’s name appears.
Edward Snowden, 39, is wanted by the United States for leaking tens of thousands of documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) to the press that demonstrate the extent of electronic surveillance carried out by Washington.
The revelations later fueled much stronger tensions between the United States and its allies, and the Russian authorities’ decision to grant him residency angered Washington.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the RIA Novosti news agency that Edward Snowden was granted Russian citizenship at his own request.
The whistleblower’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Koutcherina, said Mr. Snowden indicated that he would not be affected.
“He did not serve in the Russian army, therefore, according to our current law, he does not fall into this category of citizens, which has been called now,” he told RIA Novosti.
According to him, Mr Snowden’s partner Lindsay Mills has also applied for Russian citizenship and their daughter was born in Russia and already has it.
Edward Snowden, who lost his US passport at the request of Washington, arrived in Moscow in May 2013 from Hong Kong and intended to seek asylum in Latin America. He eventually found himself stranded in Russia, where he was granted asylum.
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