MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Anatoly Kucherena, the attorney for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, sees no reasons for Russia not to prolong Snowden’s residence permit.
"There are no grounds not to extend the residence permit. The rest is speculation. It benefits someone to speculate on him expressing his opinion about the work of government officials. We live in a free country, so every person has a right to express their opinion, their stance," he said.
Kucherena noted that Snowden’s residence permit expires in 2020.
Earlier, Snowden, who received asylum in Russia, expressed his confidence that both the US and Russia continue to meddle in each other’s electoral processes.
The former NSA contractor mentioned an article by the New York Times (NYT) published in February 2018 to reinforce his claims. The author of the article stressed that the accusations of Russian interference in the US presidential election can only shock the US public unfamiliar with the practices of their own government and intelligence agencies. According to research carried out by the Carnegie Mellon University, and cited by the NYT, 81 cases of US meddling in foreign elections were documented in the years 1946-2000. The researchers point out that 36 cases of election interference from the side of the USSR or Russia were documented in the same period.
American intelligence agencies continuously hurl accusations at Russia of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. In May 2017, the US Department of Justice announced that former FBI Chief Robert Mueller had been appointed as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 American election. In the end, Mueller came up empty-handed, admitting that there was no evidence that US President Donald Trump had colluded with the Russian government to win the election. Trump and key members of his team have repeatedly rejected all the accusations concerning any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Moscow has also refuted these allegations.