Snowden Safe for the Long Term?

MOSCOW  — Edward Snowden’s lawyer has informed him that he is legally eligible to obtain permanent Russian citizenship, following the announcement that his asylum status has been extended by 3 years.

The former NSA contractor turned whistleblower has lived in Russia for the last three years.

“Essentially, he now has every reason to apply for [Russian] citizenship in the future, in a while, as the law [states] that one needs to spend no less than 5 years on the territory of Russia [to be granted citizenship],” Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told RIA Novosti news agency.

“This means that if he decides [to apply for citizenship] in the near future, it will be legally possible. He has now lived in Russian for almost four years, has not violated any laws, and there are no [legal] claims against him – this is one of the reasons his residence permit was extended,” Kucherena explained.

In a statement to Interfax, Kucherena also expressed hope that the incoming Trump administration would change Washington’s attitude towards the whistleblower.

“I hope that the administration of President-elect Donald Trump will be more sensitive and objective in its consideration of the Snowden issue and will change the attitude the official authorities [have expressed] towards it,” Kucherena stated on Wednesday, saying that in order “to do this, they need only to work through Snowden’s story and realize that he did not commit any crime.”

Watch his latest interview:



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