MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. The Kremlin has refused to comment on Maria Butina’s case, but still considers the charges brought against her to be baseless.
"The Kremlin did not react [to Butina’s confession of partial guilt.] We stress again that we consider all the charges brought against her absolutely groundless and void," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. "All the rest is the issue of the US proceedings and Butina’s lawyers, and we don’t want to comment on it now," the Kremlin spokesman stressed.
On Thursday, Butina pled guilty under one of the charges on collision aimed at the violation of the laws on foreign agents in the US. She earlier signed documents on a deal with the prosecutors. The court accepted the confession and scheduled the next session under the case for February 12. The date of the sentencing was not announced because of a prosecutor who said that Butina agreed to cooperate with the investigators, and this process may take some time.
According to earlier reports, Butina has been staying in a solitary confinement since November. Butina may talk to her relatives over the phone only in the two hours when she is allowed to leave the cell. She does not discuss the details of the case with her family, as it is prohibited by the court.
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 the 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.