Dmitri Trenin, director of the Moscow Carnegie Center, said he was convinced that Russia could guarantee the security of Snowden but would probably prevent him from meeting with foreign media.
"Snowden could be at a dacha country house] outside Moscow or shipped off to a seaside or ski resort, but the likes of you won't find out where he is," Trenin said. "Russia is a vast place."
Snowden is wanted in the United States for leaking classified documents about telephone and email surveillance programs. The documents issued Thursday will allow Snowden to live in Russia for up to one year, the lawyer said.
U.S. authorities repeatedly asked Russia to turn Snowden over to them so that he could be prosecuted for leaking the documents, and Secretary of State John Kerry said in June that Russia was defying international convention by allowing the fugitive to remain unhindered in the transit zone.
"There are standards of behavior between sovereign nations," Kerry said. "There is common law. There is respect for rule of law."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, said he saw no reason for Russia to extradite Snowden to the United States. He said that for Snowden to remain in Russia, he would have to refrain from releasing information that is damaging to the United States. Putin added that the case should not be allowed to damage Russian-U.S. ties.
"If he wants to stay here, there is one condition," Putin said July 1. "He has to stop his work undermining our U.S. partners, as odd as it may sound coming from me."
The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday published a new report on U.S. intelligence-gathering based on information from Snowden, but Kucherena said the material was provided before Snowden promised to stop leaking, the Associated Press reported.
Nicaragua, Bolivia and Venezuela have offered Snowden refuge, but pressure from Washington and concerns that the United States or Europe might block him from traveling through their airspace - his U.S. passport has been revoked - have prevented him from leaving Russia.
Yuri Ushakov, a Kremlin official, told reporters Thursday that the "relatively insignificant case" of Snowden would not harm ties between Russia and the United States. There was no sign that President Barack Obama would cancel a planned trip to Moscow in September, he added.