In the wake of President Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s 35 year sentence and release her on May 17, Russia extended Edward Snowden’s asylum for “a couple of years.”
Snowden has held legal residency in Russia since 2013, when the United States cancelled his passport and he found himself stuck in a Russian airport.
News of Snowden’s residential extension came out of Moscow last night.
Check it out (via Fox News):
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a post on Facebook late Tuesday that Snowden’s residence permit has been extended for “a couple of years.”
Reporters asked presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday whether Snowden was planning to return to the United States in reaction to the Manning pardon. Peskov said the Kremlin is not aware what Snowden’s plans are.
There are speculations that suggest Snowden could still be pardoned by the White House yet.
An article posted on The Hill‘s website yesterday stated that while Snowden has not filed a clemency application, the White House has all but ruled it out.
However, an application is not required by law for the administration to issue a pardon.
Speculation has swirled that Obama will grant clemency to Snowden, who faces espionage charges for leaking classified material in 2013 about controversial NSA surveillance programs.
But if Snowden’s not pardoned, today’s news means we’ll certainly know where to find him.