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1 Nov, 2020 23:40

With child on way, Edward Snowden to apply for Russian CITIZENSHIP, ending seven years of legal limbo since Moscow exile

With child on way, Edward Snowden to apply for Russian CITIZENSHIP, ending seven years of legal limbo since Moscow exile

Edward Snowden has announced he will apply for Russian citizenship. The exiled American whistleblower has explained that he wants to ensure his son doesn’t ever have to live separately from his family and without a permanent home.

Snowden himself has existed in a legal limbo since 2013: Still a US citizen, but without a passport, and residing in Russia on temporary residence permits. Another possible factor in his application might be the fact that Russian law prohibits the extradition of the country's citizens to foreign countries. 

“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son,” the former CIA and NSA contractor wrote in a series of tweets on Saturday.

That's why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we're applying for dual US-Russian citizenship.

“Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love – including the freedom to speak his mind,” Snowden added. “Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home.”

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

The surprise announcement, which is poised to galvanize critics demanding he be tried for "treason," comes days after Snowden and his wife Lindsay revealed they are expecting their first child – who will receive Russian citizenship when born.

Also on rt.com America's most wanted man to remain far from Uncle Sam's reach: Whistleblower Edward Snowden granted permanent residency in Russia

Last week – seven years after he first arrived in Moscow and eventually received sanctuary from Washington's attempts to silence him – Snowden was granted a Russian permanent residency permit.

He has been living in exile ever since he blew the lid off unprecedented mass surveillance operations conducted by US intelligence and its allies – including leaking a massive trove of documents proving the warrantless collection of Americans’ telephone records. Seven years later, a federal appeals court finally ruled that the bulk collection of data to spy on Americans was indeed illegal.

READ MORE: Snowden did nothing wrong? Court rules NSA spying on Americans’ phones was illegal all along

Washington has demanded his extradition to face charges for violating the Espionage Act, and the 37-year-old whistleblower faces the prospect of up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Snowden has repeatedly voiced his desire to come back to the United States if pardoned, or at least if there were any chance of getting a fair trial. President Trump, who once labeled the whistleblower a “traitor,” has seemingly softened his stance recently. But while the push for Snowden to be pardoned has gained some momentum, the outcome of the US election is unpredictable and there is no consensus within the American public and political establishment on the matter.

Also on rt.com Opposing mass surveillance IS patriotic: Edward Snowden opens up about govt spying programs on Joe Rogan show

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