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FILE - In this image provided by Human Rights Watch, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, center, attends a news conference at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with in July of 2013.

Russia Gives Edward Snowden 3-Year Residence Permit

By Eyder Peralta NPR

Russia is allowing former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to remain in the country for at least three more years.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Thursday, attorney Anatoly Kucherena said Snowden’s application had been approved Aug. 1.

If you remember, Snowden has been in exile for a little more than a year. He fled the United States when he decided to leak a cache of classified documents that revealed some of the United States’ most deeply held security secrets.

The United States has sought his extradition, after it charged him with espionage, theft and conversion of government property. Of course, Russia has not complied with those demands.

Instead, after Snowden was stranded in the Moscow airport for more than a month last summer, Russia handed him a temporary one-year asylum.

Russia Today, an English-language news outlet funded by the Russian government, reports that Kucherena told reporters Snowden had not asked for political asylum and that he would not be able to apply for Russian citizenship.

“He will be able to travel freely within the country and go abroad,” RT quotes Kucherena as saying. “He’ll be able to stay abroad for not longer than three months.”

We’ll update this post once the U.S. government issues a reaction.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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