Snowden Applies for Extension to Russian Asylum
The US has mounted increasing pressure on Russia after it granted Edward Snowden temporary asylum in 2013.Reuters

Edward Snowden's lawyer has confirmed the former NSA employee has applied to extend his stay in Russia.

Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told the BBC that paperwork has been submitted to Russia's Federal Migration Service.

"We have gone through the procedure of getting temporary asylum. We have submitted documents for extending his stay in Russia," Kucherena told reporters on Wednesday.

Snowden was granted temporary political asylum in Russia last year having spent over a month in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.

Russia granted the whistleblower temporary political asylum on 1 August, 2013, meaning his current status is due to run out at the end of this month.

Since being granted asylum, Snowden's location within Russia has been a closely guarded secret as the US government seeks to get the whistleblower extradited back to the US to face two charges relating to violating the Espionage Act and one of theft of government property - each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

Snowden said last year that he applied for political asylum on the basis that if he "returned to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty."

In the last 12 months, Snowden has made a number of public appearances via video call, including at the SXSW festival in March.