- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian authorities have extended a residence permit for U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of secret documents from the National Security Agency.

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.”

Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 when he got stuck in the transit area at a Moscow airport after the United States canceled his passport.

The announcement comes as U.S. President Barack Obama has commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted for leaking more than 700,000 U.S. documents.

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.


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