Putin grants Russian citizenship to US whistleblower Edward Snowden

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday granting Russian citizenship to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden, 39, fled the US and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret information in 2013 that exposed huge home and worldwide surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. Nationwide Safety Company the place he was a contractor.

US authorities have for years needed Snowden returned to the US to face a felony trial on espionage fees.

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