The father of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow Thursday to meet with his son for the first time since the younger Snowden fled the United States in June.
Lon Snowden told Russian reporters that he doesn't believe that his son will ever return to the United States, but that it was his decision.
Snowden has been charged with violating the Espionage Act for leaking documents about the massive surveillance programs run by the NSA.
"I'm not sure that my son will be returning to the US again," Lon Snowden was quoted as saying. Snowden added that he believed his son was finished leaking information to reporters.
Lon Snowden said that Russia gave him a multiple-entry visa and that he planned to return to Russia several times.
"I’ve had no direct contact with my son despite previous reports," Snowden said, according to The Washington Post. "If the opportunity presents itself I certainly hope I’ll be able to meet my son."
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Snowden left the United States and arrived in Hong Kong on June 23. He was granted political asylum in Russia after spending a month living in the Moscow airport. He is believed to be living in Russia but his whereabouts are unknown.
Lon Snowden thanked Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin for sheltering his son.
Snowden's presence in the country has raised tensions between the US and Russia during a particularly rocky period as both countries butt heads over the war in Syria.
Snowden was presented with an award for truth-telling by four whistleblowing advocates from the United States on Wednesday.
The Guardian posted this video from Russian TV showing Lon in Russia: