Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowdenwho exposed the scale of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA), made a oath of allegiance to Russia and received a Russian passport, the news agency reported on Friday TASS.
“Yes, he got (a passport), he took an oath,” he said Anatoly KucherenaSnowden’s attorney, told the state news agency.
Snowden, 39, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the report.
In accordance with the washington post, Kucherena added that Snowden’s wife, Lindsay Mills, was also going through the process application form for Russian citizenship and that the couple’s children would likely attend Russian schools, when they are ready.
He said that he communicated mainly in English with his client, but that Snowden also speaks Russianalthough “not perfectly”.
In September, President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to Snowden, who fled the United States after leaking files secrets that revealed the extensive espionage activities of the North American country and its allies.
Snowden’s defenders hail him as a modern maverick for exposing the extent of US espionage.
His detractors say that he is a traitor who endangered lives by exposing the secret methods used by Western spies to monitor other countries.
After obtaining citizenship, Snowden tweeted on September 22:
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I do not want to be separated from our CHILDREN. After two years of waiting and almost ten years of exile, a little stability will make all the difference for my family. I pray for the privacy of them and all of us.”.
Snowden was granted asylum in Russia in 2013. after he fled the United States to avoid prosecution.
He was granted permanent residence in 2020 and his lawyers said at the time that he was applying for a Russian passport without giving up his US citizenship.