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Diplomat comments on Butina case

December 13, 2018, 11:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A diplomat says Moscow is closely monitoring the situation regarding Russian Maria Butina arrested in the US

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Maria Butina

Maria Butina

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. Moscow is closely monitoring the situation regarding Russian Maria Butina arrested in the US, and the current attitude of the US authorities toward her is unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"We are closely monitoring this situation and mark the absolutely unacceptable attitude of the US authorities toward the Russian citizen," the diplomat noted. "Maria Butina is a member of true civic society, and she did not do anything improper. The actions of the US authorities toward Butina would be hard to endure even for a specially trained person."

"We demand again that Washington execute her lawful rights and release her from prison as soon as possible. The Russian Foreign Ministry, the US Embassy in Washington and our diplomats offer all the necessary support and help - both moral and psychological - to Butina in this difficult period for her," the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stressed.

Butina case

Butina was arrested in Washington on July 15, ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki. The 30-year-old Russian was charged with collusion for conducting activity on US territory to benefit the Russian government. In addition, the American intelligence service state that the Russian conducted this activity without being registered with the US Department of Justice as an agent of a foreign state.

In a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on July 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded that Butina be released from custody as soon as possible and called accusations against her fabricated. Butina came to the US to study. She received a master’s degree at the American University, where she studied foreign affairs.

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