'Thankful' Snowden Takes Oath for Russian Citizenship

NSA whistleblower now has his Russian passport
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2022 12:25 PM CDT
Updated Dec 3, 2022 6:30 AM CST
Snowden Granted Russian Citizenship
In this 2019 photo, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden addresses attendees through video link at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon.   (AP Photo/Armando Franca, File)
UPDATE Dec 3, 2022 6:30 AM CST

Edward Snowden was granted Russian citizenship in September, but it looks like now it's really official. Snowden's lawyer says the 39-year-old former National Security Agency contractor has sworn an oath of allegiance to his adopted nation and received a Russian passport, reports the Guardian. "He took the oath," attorney Anatoly Kucherena said Friday. The Washington Post notes that receiving a passport and taking the oath "are common procedures when foreigners become Russian citizens." Kucherena says his client is "of course ... happy and thankful to the Russian Federation for his citizenship" and that "most importantly, under the Russian constitution, he cannot be given up to a foreign state." Snowden has said he'll retain his US citizenship. His wife, American Lindsay Mills, is also said to be pursuing Russian citizenship. They share two young sons, born in Russia.

Sep 26, 2022 12:25 PM CDT

At a time when many men are trying to get out of Russia, Edward Snowden appears set to stay for a while. The 39-year-old former National Security Agency contractor was granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin on Monday, Deutsche Welle reports. Snowden sought asylum in Russia in 2013 after he leaked classified information on NSA surveillance programs. He was one of 75 foreign nationals listed as having been granted Russian citizenship in a decree published Monday, reports the AP. In 2020, after he was granted permanent residency, Snowden said he was applying for Russian citizenship and hoped to become a dual US-Russian citizen.

Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russian media that Snowden's wife, Lindsay Mills, also plans to apply for Russian citizenship. Mills, an American citizen, has been living with Snowden in Russia. Their son was born in December 2020. Some Russians, including Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the state media outlet RT, joked that Snowden might now be called up for military service, reports Reuters. Kucherena said Snowden couldn't be drafted under the current mobilization orders because he hasn't previously served in the Russian military. (Putin granted citizenship to Steven Seagal in 2016.)

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