European Parliament calls on countries to protect Snowden

The European Parliament is calling on European Union members states to protect Edward Snowden from U.S. extradition.

In a resolution passed by Parliament in a 285-281 vote on Thursday, members called on the E.U.'s 28 member states to "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender."

The former National Security Agency contractor, who revealed the massive scope of U.S. surveillance at home and abroad, has been trapped in Russia since the Obama administration suspended his passport in 2013.

On Twitter, Snowden welcomed the news. Calling it a "game changer," Snowden tweeted, "This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward."