Russia announced Friday it would extend asylum to Edward Snowden beyond the original year they granted him back in June 2013.
Russia's Foreign Affairs Committee head Alexy Pushkov made the announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, CNN reported. He said that they would not send Snowden back to the United States after his original year of asylum ends in June.
This is good news for the former analyst that worked for a contractor under the National Security Agency until he leaked secrets about questionable U.S. intelligence gathering methods. Snowden has become one of America's most wanted and there doesn't seem to be a possibility for him to receive the whistle-blower protection he says he deserves.
In an online chat Thursday Snowden said that while he hoped to return home to the U.S. someday, he would be unwilling to do so until whistle-blower protection laws were reformed to cover him.
"There are so many holes in the laws, the protections they afford are so weak, and the processes for reporting they provide are so ineffective that they appear to be intended to discourage reporting of even the clearest wrongdoing," he wrote.
Snowden indicated that his return to the U.S. "is the best resolution for all parties," but "it's unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistle-blower protection laws."
Snowden has been charged with espionage and theft of government property but said that due to certain laws he would not be allowed to contend that he was acting in the public interest by revealing the U.S. surveillance programs, United Press International reports.
While the U.S. would be willing to discuss some type of deal with Snowden's lawyers if he came back to the U.S. to "enter a plea of guilty…clemency isn't something that we [are] willing to consider," said Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.
- Edward Snowden Endorses D.C. Protest Against NSA in Rare Public Statement
- ’Pardon Edward Snowden Petition’ Ignored by White House for 3 Months
- What Can Congress Do to Prevent another Snowden?