Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is accused of espionage in the US, has been granted permanent residency rights in Russia.
According to his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden initially requested a three-year extension of the permit as it was set to expire on April 2020 but the procedure was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 37-year old whistleblower is accused of espionage and theft of government property in the US for leaking information on American intelligence and mass surveillance program to the media in 2013.
Snowden initially travelled to Hong Kong following his public disclosure but later moved to Moscow and has been living in exile since.
Russian government granted him asylum and extended the residency permit in 2017 until 2020.
Furthermore, it may be mentioned that US President Donald Trump said he was considering a pardon for Snowden in August.