Snowden takes oath in Russia, collects passport, lawyer says

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Edward Snowden, a former Nationwide Safety Company contractor who leaked details about U.S. surveillance packages, swore an oath of allegiance to Russia and has collected his Russian passport, his lawyer instructed state media on Friday.

“Edward received a Russian passport yesterday and took the oath in accordance with the law,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena mentioned, in accordance with Russia’s Interfax information company. “He is, of course, happy, thanking the Russian Federation for the fact that he received citizenship,” he continued. “And most importantly, under the Constitution of Russia, he can no longer be extradited to a foreign state.”

Snowden, 39, is needed by Washington on espionage prices. He considers himself a whistleblower.

It’s unclear whether or not Snowden swore the oath of allegiance similtaneously he was granted a passport, however the two are widespread procedures when foreigners turn into Russian residents. The textual content consists of swearing “to protect the freedom and independence of the Russian Federation, to be loyal to Russia, to respect its culture, history and traditions,” and to vow to “perform the duties of a citizen of the Russian Federation for the good of the state and society.”

Kucherena added that Snowden’s spouse, Lindsay Mills, was additionally present process the Russian citizenship utility course of and that the couple’s youngsters would seemingly attend Russian colleges, when prepared. He mentioned he communicated primarily in English along with his shopper however that Snowden additionally speaks Russian, albeit “not perfectly.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Snowden citizenship in September, in a decree that lined 72 foreigners. Putin has beforehand known as Snowden’s actions incorrect however mentioned he “is not a traitor,” since “he did not betray the interests of his country.”

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After being granted citizenship, Snowden tweeted: “After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our SONS. After two years of waiting and nearly ten years of exile, a little stability will make a difference for my family. I pray for privacy for them — and for us all.”

Snowden was given asylum in Russia in 2013 after he fled the USA to keep away from prosecution. He was granted everlasting residency in 2020, and his attorneys mentioned on the time that he was making use of to acquire a Russian passport with out renouncing his U.S. citizenship.

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He defined his determination to hunt twin citizenship on Twitter in 2020 as being obligatory to forestall being separated from his son. In an “era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” he wrote.

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

Snowden’s revelations, printed first in The Washington Publish and the Guardian newspaper in 2013, brought about worldwide shock waves and have been among the many most consequential intelligence breaches in U.S. historical past.

He disclosed the existence of the NSA’s assortment of thousands and thousands of People’ cellphone information, a program later discovered by a federal appeals courtroom to be illegal and subsequently shuttered. The disclosures additionally broken the intelligence group’s relationship with the American tech trade.

Snowden swore his oath and acquired his passport as Moscow continued its battle on Ukraine, now in its tenth month. His lawyer, Kucherena, mentioned when Snowden was granted citizenship that he wouldn’t be topic to the partial army mobilization that Putin had decreed days earlier than, since solely males with earlier army expertise have been being known as up. Nevertheless, it has been broadly reported that many Russians with out such expertise have been summoned for responsibility in latest months.

The White Home and State Division haven’t publicly commented on Snowden’s oath-taking and didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from The Publish.

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