The Russian government gave the NSA whistle-blower permission to stay in the country for three more years, as well as the ability to travel abroad for three-month stints.

The Guardian reports:

His Russian lawyer told reporters that Snowden, whose temporary asylum ran out on 1 August, has received a three-year residence permit.

“The decision on the application has been taken and therefore starting 1 August 2014 Edward Snowden has received a three-year residential permit,” said Anatoly Kucherena.

But the former NSA contractor has not been granted political asylum, which would have allowed him to stay in Russia permanently. However, Kucherena said Snowden would be able to extend his residency permit for a further three years when it runs out and after five years would be eligible to apply for Russian citizenship, but he did not know if Snowden intended to do so.

Snowden will be allowed to travel outside Russia for the first time in the year since he entered the country in flight from the U.S. government. His lawyer did not say which countries he might visit.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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