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Snowden has place to live in Russia

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has decided where he will live in Russia, his Russian lawyer says.

Russia granted temporary asylum to Mr Snowden on Thursday, allowing him to leave the Moscow airport where he had been holed up for almost six weeks. He can now remain in Russia for at least a year as he evades charges of espionage in the United States.

The move infuriated the US administration, which said it was "extremely disappointed" and warned that the decision could derail an upcoming summit between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Snowden "is in a safe place," but the location will remain secret out of concerns for his security, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russian news agencies on Friday.

Mr Kucherena said Mr Snowden, an NSA systems analyst who revealed himself as the source of reports in The Guardian newspaper of a vast surveillance programme by the National Security Agency, needs time after his ordeal at the airport to figure out what to do next.

"As soon as he decides what he will do, I hope he will announce it himself," the lawyer told the ITAR-Tass news agency. Mr Kucherena said he expects him to speak to journalists in the near future.

His temporary asylum allows him to work in Russia, with some restrictions, said immigration lawyer Bakhrom Ismailov. "Snowden has the same rights for employment as a Russian citizen except that he is not allowed to work as a public servant or take a job in law enforcement agencies," said Mr Ismailov.

Article 14 of the law on temporary asylum states that a person with this status is entitled "to receive assistance" in travelling out of Russia. Mr Ismailov said that this assistance could mean issuing a travel document, but this is not normally done for people with temporary asylum.

Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia had offered him asylum and he told human rights figures during a meeting in mid-July that he wanted to visit all those countries. But Mr Kucherena said that he no longer has such plans.


From Belfast Telegraph