National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has finally left the transit area of the Moscow airport after Russia granted him temporary asylum, his lawyer told The Wall Street Journal.

Wikileaks, the whistleblowing website that has been handling some asylum negotiations for Snowden, also reported the news on Twitter.

"Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia for a year and has now left Moscow airport under the care of WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison," it said.

Snowden's Russian lawyer told the Journal that he had seen his client to a taxi, but did not know where he was going.

For the last five weeks, Snowden had been stuck in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. He had fled there from Hong Kong in a bid to avoid extradition to the US, where he is wanted on charges related to his leaking of documents about the US National Security Agency's surveillance activities.