U.S Whistleblower Edward Snowden Files for Russia and U.S Citizenship

Ex-CIA agent and whistleblower Edward Snowden and his wife intends to file for dual Russia-US citizenship for the sake of their son who is expected to be born late in December. The couple does not want to be separated from their son especially during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Snowden fled from the U.S back in 2013 after leaking secret files that contained domestic and international surveillance operations. He was then granted asylum in Russia. For years, the U.S authorities wanted Snowden to return to the U.S and face criminal charges although just this August, President Trump said that he was considering granting a pardon for Snowden.

Screenshot from NBC News

The Guardian:  US whistleblower Edward Snowden and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship in order not to be separated from their future son in an era of pandemics and closed borders

Screenshot from The Guardian

The Guardian reports that Snowden, 37, fled the US and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the US National Security Agency where he was a contractor.

Snowden’s wife, Lindsay, is expecting a child in late December, the Interfax news agency cited Anatoly Kucherena, his Russian lawyer, as saying.

Snowden is benefiting from an immigration reform signed into law by Vladimir Putin in April that allows foreigners to receive a Russian passport without renouncing other citizenships.

NBC News: Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs

Screenshot from NBC News

NBC News reports that Snowden will be able to get a Russian passport without renouncing his U.S. nationality after Russia earlier this year relaxed its strict citizenship laws. Previously the law required foreigners to renounce other nationalities in order to get Russian citizenship.

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.