Edward Snowden’s leave to remain in Russia extended for three years – Shaun Walker in Moscow Wednesday 18 January 2017 06.34 EST


Edward Snowden appears via video link during a conference in Argentina in November 2016. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Edward Snowden appears via video link during a conference in Argentina in November 2016. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Edward Snowden’s leave to remain in Russia has been extended for three years, his lawyer has said, as a Russian official said the whistleblower would not be extradited to the US even if relations improved under the incoming president, Donald Trump.

Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told RIA Novosti news agency that the permit had been extended until 2020. He also said that as of next year, Snowden would have the right to apply for Russian citizenship.

Earlier on Wednesday, Maria Zakharova, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, wrote on Facebook that Snowden’s right to stay had recently been extended “by a couple of years”. Her post came in response to a suggestion from the former acting CIA director Michael Morell that Vladimir Putin might hand over Snowden to the US, despite there being no extradition treaty between the countries.

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