Former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has no immediate plans to leave Russia.

A lawyer said Mr Snowden has asked for temporary asylum.

Anatoly Kucherena said if asylum is granted it would be for a term of one year.

“Currently his final country of destination is Russia," Mr Kucherena told Rossiya 24 new channel after meeting after meeting the 30-year-old.

Mr Snowden has been granted the papers that will allow him to leave the transit area of a Moscow airport, where he has been since last month.

An airport official this afternoon said Mr Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details of US government intelligence programmes, would be handed the documents by a lawyer at Sheremetyevo Airport.

Immigration authorities declined immediate comment.

RIA news agency quoted a border control official as saying Mr Snowden would be able to leave the transit zone once he received the necessary documents.

Mr Snowden arrived in Sheremetyevo from Hong Kong on 23 June.

He has requested temporary asylum in Russia until he can safely reach a country that will not send him back to the United States to face espionage charges.

Russia has refused to extradite Mr Snowden and risks further damage to relations with the US if it grants him temporary asylum.

The decision on his asylum request could take up to three months.