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Putin says envies Snowden

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (December 19) said he has not met with former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden to whom Russia granted political asylum this year but that he envied him. At a packed annual news conference in Moscow, Putin said he did not personally know Snowden. "I have never met him. He has his own views about life, about what he should do and how. I won't hide it that he seems very interesting to me," said Putin, 61, adding that Russian intelligence agencies had not made contact with Snowden. Documents leaked by Snowden have revealed details of widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and ignited a furore over the agency's spying. Putin, who looked relaxed and confident at his annual question-and-answer session with hundreds of journalists from across Russia and which is broadcast across the nation, said he even envied Snowden. "I envy him because he

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