An official decree from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday reportedly grants NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden citizenship in the country, as he continues to avoid the United States due to the charges of espionage that still hound him.

The decree that Putin released on Monday detailed 76 foreign-born nationals who were granted Russian citizenship, with Snowden’s name within the document. Though the Kremlin did not release a statement regarding Snowden, he sent a tweet about the relief he feels regarding the situation, according to Reuters.

“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our SONS,” the tweet said. “After two years of waiting and nearly ten years of exile, a little stability will make a difference for my family. I pray for privacy for them - and for us all.”

Snowden is well-known for leaking information from the National Security Agency about the agency’s secretive spying practices that he believes went far beyond the mandate of the agency. Though vilified by the intelligence agency for his actions, a U.S. appeals court found in 2020 that the program that Snowden exposed was unlawful, ABC News reported.

“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” Snowden said about his actions in 2013. “That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

After leaking the information, Snowden was forced into exile in Russia after attempting to run away to Hong Kong in 2013. His wife, Lindsay Mills, followed him, and she is reportedly in the process of also obtaining a Russian citizenship, CNN reported.

“Now the spouse will receive citizenship after he has received it. Now the spouse will apply,” Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said.

Despite the acquisition of the Russian citizenship, Snowden and Mills have no plans to renounce their U.S. roots, and the two are said to be seeking a dual citizenship between Russia and the United States.

“I am familiar with the fact that he has in some ways denounced his American citizenship. I don't know that he's renounced it,” Ned Price, the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said.

Edward Snowden, the exiled American contractor who leaked information from the NSA, was granted Russian citizenship by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images.

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