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Edward Snowden gets 3-year residence permit in Russia

August 07, 2014, 14:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“He has got a three-year residence permit starting from August 1,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told a news conference

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MOSCOW, August 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Edward Snowden has been given Russia’s residence permit for three years, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena representing his interests said on Thursday.

“He has got a three-year residence permit starting from August 1,” Kucherena told a news conference.

Kucherena noted that Snowden might apply for Russian citizenship in the future. “He is also free to move across the country and travel abroad, but for a term not exceeding three months, since, according to the legislation, the residence permit may be cancelled,” Kucherena said.

Edward Snowden must decide for himself whether to seek Russian citizenship or return to his homeland Anatoly Kucherena, said 

The lawyer specified that he helped Snowden to process the residence permit. “This was my initiative, since the temporary asylum requires yearly prolongation,” Kucherena explained.

He stressed that there was no talk about getting a political asylum. “The case in hand is his temporary residence in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the lawyer added.

Kucherena promised that Snowden would meet with journalists as soon as it would be possible. “As soon as there is such a possibility, he will be able to meet with you,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to talk on his behalf. He answers questions that he gets on the internet,” Kucherena said, adding that in case there were questions, Edward Snowden would make his best to answer them.

No official request for Snowden’s extradition

Anatoly Kucherena said there was no official request for Snowden’s extradition. “There was no request that would comply all international legal acts,” he said.

Kucherena said there had been a letter from the US Department of Justice to the Russian Justice Ministry with “florid style” description of the situation and pledges that he would not be subject to capital punishment. He added that Snowden's extradition to US was impossible.

“Extradition is not possible under the Russian legislation. He has not committed any crimes. He is facing no charges in the Russian Federation,” Kucherena said.

“And we have received no official requests as to his extradition and there cannot be any. Evidence is needed to bring him to responsibility,” the lawyer said.

Edward Snowden Case

In the USA, Snowden is charged with making secret data public and may face a long prison term.

The ex-employee of secret services, who handed over to media outlets documents about NSA’s cyber espionage programs, fled from the USA to Hong Kong in June 2013. From there, he headed to Moscow to proceed later to Ecuador. However, he remained in Russia’s territory as the US authorities annulled his passport.

August 1, 2013, Snowden received temporary asylum in Russia for one year after spending more than a month in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. August 1, 2014, the temporary asylum of Snowden has expired.

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