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Putin Defends NSA Spying, Says Russia Not Working with Snowden 

Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin denied affiliation with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden in a press conference Thursday.

The leader said he has never met Snowden, who has asylum in the country, and denied Russia knowing what information the former NSA contractor still possesses or where he keeps it.

"We never worked with him and we are not doing this now," Putin said. "We are not asking him any questions about what was done to Russia by the services where he used to work."

Putin explained that Snowden's next steps are in his own hands. "It is up to him to determine his future," he said. "We are not going to help him. Just give him shelter."

At the conference, the Russian president defended the NSA spying program, saying it was ultimately designed to fight terrorism. He did note, however, that some "restrictions" should be implemented.

"But on the whole, you see that there is such a necessity," Putin said.

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