Russia likely to extend Snowden's asylum

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Russia will likely allow Edward Snowden to stay in the country beyond his original terms of asylum, according to an official there quoted on Friday.

Vladimir Volokh, an adviser to Russia's federal migration service, told the Interfax news agency the extension of asylum could be granted within days. 

“I do not see any problem in extending the temporary political asylum,” he said. “Circumstances have not changed. Snowden’s life is still in danger. Therefore the Federal Migration Service has every basis to prolong his status.”

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The former U.S. contractor was granted temporarily asylum in Russia nearly a year ago after leaking a trove of National Security Agency documents, which has led to the revelation of a number of secret surveillance programs. 

Snowden initially left the United States for Hong Kong. He got stranded in Russia during a flight to Latin America when his American passport was halted. 

Snowden's lawyer earlier this week said he had submitted the paperwork to extend the stay. 

The United States has continuously rejected granting Snowden clemency from espionage charges for his leak. Administration officials have called for him to return to face trial.  

Previously, Snowden has said he would like to return to the U.S. but he says he would not be granted a fair trial because whistle-blower protection laws do not apply to him.