Image of Edward Snowden on Wikipedia. The exiled national security contract worker said Sunday he will file for Russian citizenship. Photo by Gil C / Shutterstock
Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Exiled former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said on social media Sunday he and his wife will play for Russian citizenship but will keep their citizenship in the United States as well.
Snowden said he and Lindsay Mills are expecting their first child, one of the driving reasons that he will be applying for dual U.S.-Russian citizenship.
"After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son," Snowden said on Twitter. "That's why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we're applying for dual US-Russian citizenship."
Snowden has been in exile from the United States after leaking classified documents about the U.S. government's mass collection of emails, phone calls and Internet activity in the name of national security surveillance as a National Security Agency contractor in June 2013. He expressed his interest one day to return to the United States.
He has been formally charged under the Espionage Act.
"Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of America we love -- including the freedom to speak his mind," Snowden said. "And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited. Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home."
In the past, Russian law forced foreigners to renounce any other citizenship in order to apply for a Russian passport. A new law that passed in April paved the way for Snowden to apply for dual citizenship.