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“As for the future in Russia and what will happen there, I can’t say I’m safe,” Snowden said Thursday during a livestream broadcast from Russia to the University of Innsbruck in Austria.
“But the real question is: Does it matter?” he said via satellite at the event. “I didn’t come forward to be safe,” reported The Moscow Times.
“If I wanted safety, I’d be sitting in Hawaii right now, making a lot of money, spying on everyone.”
The former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor conceded he “may have to spend the rest” of his life in exile.
“What that means is I can go to sleep at night not worrying about tomorrow,” Snowden told the applauding audience.
Addressing critics “suspicious about the fact that I’m in Russia even though I never chose to be in Russia,” the whistleblower reiterated his assertion that he has “no connection” with the Russian government, added The Moscow Times.
“Russia is not my home; Russia is my place of exile,” he added.