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US Whistleblower Edward Snowden Wants to Apply for Russian Citizenship

© Photo : Screenshot: Council of EuropeEdward Snowden Speaks to the Council of Europe
Edward Snowden Speaks to the Council of Europe - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US whistleblower Edward Snowden, who used to work for the National Security Agency (NSA) and fled to Russia after leaking information on surveillance programmes, said he would like to apply for dual US-Russian citizenship.

"After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That's why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we're applying for dual US-Russian citizenship", Snowden said on Twitter.

The ex-NSA employee added that he and his partner would raise their child "with all the values of the America we love—including the freedom to speak his mind".

"And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited", Snowden said.

The statement comes after Snowden's wife, American acrobat and blogger Lindsay Mills, announced that she is pregnant. Mills left the United States to join Snowden in Moscow in October 2014. They married in 2017. 

​Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013. He fled the United States after leaking classified documents showing that the National Security Agency was collecting the telephone records of millions of US citizens. He is wanted in the United States on espionage charges.

The US government revoked Snowden's passport while he was transiting Moscow en route to another country. Russia subsequently granted Snowden political asylum. In 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit to live in Russia. In 2017, his residence permit was extended for three more years.

As a result of Snowden's revelations, the US Congress passed the Freedom Act in 2015, significantly curbing the mass collection of data.

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