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Snowden, wife applying for Russian citizenship

Snowden, wife applying for Russian citizenship
© Getty

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said Monday that he and his wife will apply for Russian citizenship in an effort  to ensure that their family will be together following the imminent birth of their first child.

Snowden tweeted that he and his wife will not renounce their U.S. citizenship.

“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” he wrote.

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“Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love — including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited," Snowden continued. "Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home.”

Snowden fled to Hong Kong, and later to Moscow, seeking asylum in both cases, after revealing the scope of the NSA's surveillance of people around the world to The Intercept in 2013. Journalists for The Guardian and The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for reporting based on Snowden's disclosures.

His application for citizenship comes just weeks after he was granted permanent residency in Russia, according to a statement from his attorney, who said that Snowden was not applying for citizenship at the time.