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German official releases Snowden letter asking for help

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If Snowden leaves Russia, he would lose his asylum status, Kucherena confirmed.

Germany, along with many other nations, rejected an asylum request from Snowden earlier this year. In July, the Germans received a U.S. request for Snowden’s arrest if he was found in the country.

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Snowden’s exact whereabouts in Russia and his activities there have been a mystery.

There has been wide speculation that Snowden is under the control of Russia’s security services, but there has been no confirmation.

Stroebele was tightlipped about where he met Snowden. The German politician said he had no contact with the German Embassy in Moscow nor with Russian authorities other than a passport control officer — although he did not explain who the security officials mentioned by German television were.

Snowden’s lawyer says his client has accepted a technical-support job with a major Russian website but refused to name it.

"He enjoys living in Russia ... we have opportunities to visit cultural events. We have opportunities to show him our places of interest," Kucherena said Friday.

He also said Snowden is studying Russian and has developed some competency in it.

The Russian news site Life News on Thursday published a photo showing Snowden apparently on a boat in the Moscow River with the Christ the Savior Cathedral in the background. It said the photo was from September.

"It’s him," Kucherena told the AP on Friday.

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AP correspondents Vladimir Isachenkov and Jim Heintz in Moscow and David Rising and Robert H. Reid in Berlin contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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