Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Russia has granted former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden permanent residency, his lawyer said.
Attorney Anatoly Kucherena told Russian state-run Tass news agency on Thursday that "Snowden was granted an open-ended residence permit" by Russia earlier in the day.
Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 in evasion of U.S. prosecution for charges related to his leaking of information on U.S. intelligence and surveillance operations.
The 37-year-old whistleblower has been living in the Asian nation on three-year permits since, with his most recent document set to expire on April 30 but was automatically extended until June 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic, his lawyer said, adding that Snowden applied for its extension once lockdown measures were eased.
Kucherena said his client is not considering applying for Russian citizenship.
Russia first granted Snowden asylum in 2013 after arriving from Hong Kong, where U.S. authorities had sought his extradition.
He was granted a three-year extension to stay in Russia in 2014, which was extended a further three years in 2017.