NSA whistleblower Snowden’s permit to reside in Russia extended to 2020

Ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden's permit to reside in Russia has been extended by three years until 2020, his lawyer said Wednesday in Moscow. Snowden, who fled the US in 2013, leaked tens of thousands of documents that revealed many means and methods of US intelligence including some that are illegal under American law. He received political asylum in Russia but his future there remains unclear. US President-elect Donald Trump had previously said that Snowden would be sent back to the US within a month after he enters the Oval Office. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova issued a statement rejecting a suggestion by a former senior American intelligence official that the extradition of Snowden by Russian President Vladimir Putin would be a "perfect inauguration gift" for Trump. In another development, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who handed over top secret intelligence documents to the WikiLeaks website. Manning will now be released in May.

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