Russia extends residence permit for Edward Snowden

Russian authorities have extended a residence permit for former US intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of secret documents from the National Security Agency.

Russia extends residence permit for Edward Snowden

Russian authorities have extended a residence permit for former US intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of secret documents from the National Security Agency.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a post on Facebook on Tuesday that Snowden’s residence permit has been extended for a further three years.

Snowden would be able to apply for Russian citizenship after living in the country for five years, if he decides to. Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 when he got stuck in the transit area at a Moscow airport after the United States canceled his passport.


The announcement comes as US President Barack Obama has commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is serving 35 years for leaking more than 700,000 US documents.

Snowden’s supporters have called on Obama to pardon him. The U.S. has charged the former National Security Agency contractor with espionage for leaking details of highly classified government surveillance programs.

Snowden’s presence in Russia has strained the country’s relationship with the U.S., which was further damaged the following year when Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea.

Russian officials have praised Snowden’s leaks for revealing the alleged improper activities of U.S. intelligence services. The Kremlin has also used leaks from hacking of supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to question American democratic credentials.