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Russia to Rise Above Squabbling Over Snowden, Putin Says

President Vladimir Putin told reporters Wednesday morning that Russia will stick to its independent foreign policy when assessing the temporary asylum request made by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

"Inter-governmental relations, in my view, are more important than the squabbles around the activities of intelligence organizations," Putin was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

The statements may shed light on Russia's response to the temporary asylum request submitted Tuesday by Snowden, who has been living in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23.

"Russia has an independent foreign policy and we will exercise it. I hope that our partners understand and react with calm and understanding," Putin said.

He also repeated his earlier statement that Russia did not approve of any of Snowden's activities that damaged the United States and the relationship between the two countries.

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