MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has applied to extend his Russian residence permit for another three years, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told an online conference at TASS on Tuesday.
Earlier, Kucherena said that Snowden’s residence permit was due to expire on April 30, 2020 but had been automatically extended until June 15, 2020 amid the coronavirus lockdowns.
"Now, regarding Edward Snowden and the extension of his residence permit: Snowden is a law-abiding person, and he resides on the territory of Russia. When the coronavirus lockdowns were imposed, he stayed at home, just like everybody else, observing the self-isolation regime. As soon as the quarantine was over, Edward and I filed documents to have his residence permit extended," Kucherena said, adding that the application was not filed in due time because of the coronavirus lockdowns.
At the same time, he said he hopes his client will receive a positive decision on his application. In 2013, Snowden leaked information on the methods of electronic surveillance by US intelligence services, including illegally wiretapping foreign leaders. Fleeing from prosecution, Snowden sent requests for asylum to some countries, including Russia. On August 1, 2014, he received a Russian residence permit valid for three years, which was later extended for another three years. In the United States, Snowden is charged with two counts of violating the Espionage Act. He may face up to ten years in prison on each of the counts. The US authorities have repeatedly stated that they consider Snowden a traitor who caused grave damage to national security.