Snowden can stay in Russia for the next 3 years, government decides

Edward Snowden in his first public speaking appearance at SXSW on March 10, 2014.

Russia has granted Edward Snowden a 3-year residency permit, after his temporary asylum expired. That means the NSA leaker can stay in Russia, where he has been stranded since the U.S. cancelled his passport a year ago while he was in transit to Latin America.

Activists across Europe have been pleading for their countries to let Snowden in to give testimony about mass surveillance in person, but not one government has agreed to do so, even those that have launched official inquiries over his revelations.

According to RT, Snowden’s lawyer said on Thursday that the leaker hadn’t applied for political asylum. He said Snowden would be able to apply for Russian citizenship in 5 years, and that in the meantime he is free to travel outside Russia for up to 3 months at a time.

It’s good for Snowden that he isn’t going to be forced to return to the U.S., but Russia’s not a great place to be right now, what with the Ukraine situation resulting in a trade war with the West.

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