Lawyer says Snowden can stay 3 more years in Russia

(AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File)

MOSCOW (AP) – Former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden won’t have to leave Russia anytime soon. His lawyer says Snowden has been granted permission to stay in Russia for three more years.

Snowden is wanted by the U.S. for leaking details about surveillance programs. He was granted temporary asylum for one year in Russia last year, but that expired a week ago.

His lawyer is quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that while Snowden has been granted residency for three more years, he hasn’t yet been granted political asylum.

That status would allow him to stay in Russia permanently. The lawyer said it has to be decided by a separate procedure. He’s not saying if Snowden is looking for political asylum.

According to the lawyer, Snowden is working in the information-technology field. He says holding a job was a key consideration in extending his residency.

The case has been a significant contributor to the tensions between Russia and the United States.

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