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US prison authorities permit Russia’s alleged agent Butina to make telephone calls

August 03, 3:04 UTC+3

"Maria is enduring all challenges and is trying to adjust to them," according a statement from the Russian Embassy in the United States

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Maria Butina

Maria Butina

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TACC

WASHINGTON, August 3. /TASS/. The administration of a US prison, where Russia’s alleged agent Maria Butina is currently in custody, issued permission for her to make telephone calls, according a statement from the Russian Embassy in the United States.

"She has been finally granted a permission to make telephone calls," the statement said. "However, she was still unable to contact her parents and the US prison authorities are citing some sort of technical errors as the reason behind it."

"On August 2, our Embassy staffers visited once again Russian citizen Maria Butina, detained by US authorities," the statement said. "She has been kept in jail for 19 days already facing unsubstantiated charges."

"Maria is enduring all challenges and is trying to adjust to them," according to the statement. "She is not complaining about health, however, her requests for a dentist’s aid are ignored."

The 29-year-old Maria Butina was arrested in Washington on July 15, on the eve of the Helsinki summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump. The Russian gun rights activist faces the charges of conspiracy for conducting activities in the interests of a foreign state. The investigators claim she engaged in these activities without registering as a foreign agent at the US Department of Justice.

The FBI said Butina entered the US in August 2016 on a student visa and took up studies at the American University. She received the master’s degree in international relations in May 2018, according to her lawyer.

Butina is a member of the board of the Russian public associations ‘The Right to Guns’. In this capacity, she attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in February 2017 where President Donald Trump took part.

On July 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined in his telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that US actions against Russian citizen Maria Butina were inadmissible.

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