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Edward Snowden will be remaining in Russia

NSA whistleblower continues to ignore requests to return to the US.

By Jimmy Nicholls

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted a three year extension to his residence in Russia.

The security contractor was granted a year’s temporary asylum in Russia on August 1 of 2013 after five weeks spent in Moscow airport, and has been living in the country ever since.

His lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said: "The decision on the application has been taken and therefore, with effect from August 1 2014 Edward Snowden has received a three-year residential permit.

"In the future, Edward himself will take a decision on whether to stay on (in Russia) and get Russian citizenship or leave for the United States."

The permit obtained gives him the opportunity to apply for citizenship in the country if he remains until 2018, but the security contractor has not claimed political asylum.

As part of the terms of his residence, Snowden will also be able to travel abroad for a period of less than three months, the lawyer added.

"By all means he is homesick," Kucherena said. "It was hard for him to find himself far from home, especially for the first time."

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The lawyer denied that Snowden was working with Russian spies or the government.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House national security council, told Reuters that Snowden still faced felony charges in the US, and would be "accorded full due process and protections" on his return.

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