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Snowden 'given asylum in Russia'

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has been granted asylum in Russia for one year and has left the transit zone of Moscow airport, his lawyer says.

Earlier he was issued papers that allowed him to leave Sheremetyevo airport where he was stuck since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.

Anatoly Kucherena said that Mr Snowden's whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons.

The US has demanded that Russia send him home to face prosecution for espionage, but President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the request.

Mr Putin had said that Mr Snowden could receive asylum in Russia on condition he stops leaking US secrets. Mr Kucherena has said Mr Snowden accepted the condition.

Mr Kucherena said that Mr Snowden's whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons.

The US has demanded that Russia send him home to face prosecution for espionage, but Mr Putin has dismissed the request.

He had said that Mr Snowden could receive asylum in Russia on condition he stops leaking US secrets. Mr Kucherena has said Mr Snowden accepted the condition.

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