Snowden free to cooperate with Germany: Kremlin

Moscow, Nov 2 (IANS) Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is free to cooperate with Germany on reports of the alleged US tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's telephone conversations, the Kremlin said Saturday.

Snowden has to obey Russian laws since he is on Russian territory after being granted temporary asylum, but still "he is free to meet with anybody," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Xinhua reports.

Snowden is willing to help Berlin in its probe into the possible US spying in Germany, according to German opposition lawmaker Christian Stroebele, who met the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor in Moscow.

"I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the situation is resolved, and thank you for your efforts to uphold international law that protect us all," Snowden said in a letter addressed to Merkel, the German parliament and German federal prosecutors.

Snowden said the US government continues to treat dissent as defection and seeks to criminalise political speech with felony charges that provide no defence.

He also said that with the support of the international community, the US government will "abandon this harmful behaviour."

According to Peskov, the materials obtained by German media were not circulated from Russia. Snowden has said earlier that he had passed all his archive to journalists when he was in Hong Kong and had no access to it any longer.

Stroebele said Snowden is prepared to travel to Germany to testify.

However, Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Russian media that it is impossible for Snowden to leave Russia to be questioned by German prosecutors but he can provide testimony inside Russia.

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Updated Date: Nov 02, 2013 18:30:14 IST