Whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is currently based in Moscow, could be offered Icelandic citizenship, according to recent reports.
The ex-NSA contractor, who shot to worldwide fame when he began leaking classified information about the US government, fled his country to avoid prosecution and, via Hong Kong, would up in the Russian capital, where he was granted a three-year residency permit.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, the leader of Iceland’s Pirate Party and formerly a Wikileaks spokeswoman, said in a recent interview that she supported the idea of Snowden being granted citizenship, revealing that if she was ever offered the position of interior minister that would be what happened. She noted, however, that under the country’s Nationality Act, such a move would most likely need parliament’s approval.
Despite Snowden admitting recently that he was happy in Moscow and felt safe, Jonsdottir is of the mindset that a move to the North Atlantic island could be better for everyone concerned because “asylum does not give you the same protection as citizenship”, before also pointing out that being an Icelandic citizen would also have a positive impact on US-Russia relations.
The party leader went on to say that for Snowden to be in Iceland or Germany would be much better for the US as it was “uncomfortable” to have him in Moscow because of the propaganda war between Washington and the Kremlin, which she noted was not good for the whistleblower.
But despite Jonsdottir’s words, her party holds only three seats in parliament at present so it would need to become more powerful to be able to push the move through.