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Snowden aims to be dual US-Russia citizen

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Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks via video link from Russia as he takes part in a round table meeting on the subject of “Improving the protection of whistleblowers” on March 15, 2019, at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France. AFP/File

Snowden aims to be dual US-Russia citizen

Fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden said on Monday he had applied for Russian citizenship but would keep his US nationality.

The former US intelligence contractor, who revealed in 2013 that the US government was spying on its citizens, has been living in exile in Russia since the revelations.

Snowden’s tweet comes weeks after he was granted permanent residency in the country, and just days after his partner Lindsay Mills announced that she was pregnant.

He tweeted: “After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son.”

The 37-year-old said that “in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship”.

Moscow only recently relaxed its strict citizenship laws to allow individuals to hold Russian passports without rejecting their original nationalities.

In the short thread, Snowden emphasised that he and Mills would “remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love – including the freedom to speak his mind”.

The former US contractor is wanted in the US on espionage charges after he leaked information showing that agents from the National Security Agency were collecting telephone records from millions of US citizens.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump said he would “take a look” at pardoning Snowden but has not made further comment on the matter.

A 2015 petition calling on then-president Barack Obama to pardon the whistleblower was rejected by the White House.

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