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Russia: Snowden to have Russian citizenship right 'in near future' - Snowden's lawyer

 The Russian residence permit of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been extended until 2020, at which time the US exile will have the legal grounds to apply for Russian citizenship, stated his lawyer Anatoli Kucherena in Moscow, Wednesday.

SOT, Anatoli Kucherena, Edward Snowden's Lawyer (Russian): "As for the current Russian legislation, there is a certain procedure, the requirements of the law, [which states that] a citizen who resides in the territory [of Russia] for more than five years has the right to Russian citizenship. In this case, given that [Snowden's] residence permit has been extended for another three years [until 2020], he will have the right to apply for [Russian] citizenship, in the near future, as soon as it [Snowden's residence in Russia] reaches five years. As for the application, this issue will be considered by Edward Snowden personally."

SOT, Anatoli Kucherena, Edward Snowden's Lawyer (Russian): "As for [Barack] Obama's decision to reduce [Chelsea] Manning's sentence [for leaking documents to Wikileaks in 2010], I have to say that is was an attempt to save face because if Obama wanted to investigate, look into the matter and punish those who were directly involved in the illegal surveillance and the collection of private information about individuals who are not under suspicion of any crime, he [Obama] would have dealt with it and would have made a decision. However, he [Obama] seemed to fall captive to the [US] special services and could not make a decision on his own. That is why; what happened to Manning is good. After all, the fact that 35 years of imprisonment were reduced to five or six months [of imprisonment] and that he will be released in May, is not a bad thing. One could say that it [the decision] was a compassionate step."

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