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Kremlin says unaware of Snowden's plans

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is seen in this still image taken from video during an intervie
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is seen in this still image taken from video during an intervie

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Sunday that he was unaware of the location or plans of former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The South China Morning Post reported that Snowden had left Hong Kong on a flight for Moscow and that his final destination may be Ecuador or Iceland.

Asked whether Snowden was en route to Moscow and whether he had ask for asylum, Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he did not know. A Russian Foreign Ministry official declined immediate comment.

Peskov said earlier this month that Russia would consider granting Snowden asylum if he were to ask for it and pro-Kremlin lawmakers supported the idea, but there has been no indication the fugitive American has done so.

U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

The United States had asked Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, to send him home.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Lidia Kelly and Pravin Char)

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