Former National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied for dual US-Russian citizenship, he wrote on his Twitter account on Monday.
"After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That's why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we're applying for dual US-Russian citizenship," Snowden said, TASS reports.
In late October, Snowden obtained an open-ended Russian residency permit.
Snowden, 37, is going to be a father soon. The baby will have Russian citizenship, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told TASS. In October 2014, American acrobat and blogger Lindsay Mills left the US for Moscow to join the fugitive whistleblower. They got married in 2017.
In 2013, Snowden leaked information about electronic surveillance methods being used by US intelligence services, including illegally eavesdropping on foreign leaders’ conversations. Fleeing punitive consequences from US federal authorities, Snowden sent requests for asylum to some countries, including Russia. On August 1, 2014, he obtained a temporary Russian residence permit. Back in the United States, Snowden is facing two counts of violating the Espionage Act, and he risks up to ten years in prison on each count. American officials have repeatedly said that they regard Snowden as a traitor and have no intention of absolving him, because he caused serious harm to the US national security.