SEVASTOPOL, August 15 (RIA Novosti) - Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is not cooperating with the Russian government and special services. His temporary residency forasylum in Russia was extended for three years on Friday, Russia's Minister of Communications and Mass Media.
“The fact that Snowden is in Russia does not mean he is cooperating with the Russian government or special services. He does not cooperate with them. He does not provide us with any information or secrets. Nobody is even talking to him about it,” Nikolai Nikiforov said.
Snowden fled the United States in June 2013, after leaking information about the extensive electronic surveillance programs conducted by the US government around the globe, including eavesdropping on American citizens and foreign leaders. The revelations have sparked domestic controversy and strained relations between the US and its partners worldwide.
The United States accused Snowden of theft, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified documents to an unauthorized person. Each of the three charges carries a maximum possible prison term of ten years.
The whistleblower received temporary asylum in Russia for one year on August 1, 2013, after living in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport for over a month.