YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, May 19. /TASS/. Russia’s foreign ministry will spare no effort to help Russian national Maria Butina jailed in the United States, including in what concerns fees to her attorneys, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
Zakharova’s statement came after Butina’s video address from the Oklahoma’s Grady County Jail on Saturday where she asked for financial assistance to pay for the services of her attorneys.
"You know, we don’t fiancй attorneys but we will do our best to see to it that she, as a Russian national, could enjoy all relevant rights. And, naturally, once she has worded such a problem we will try to do all we can to help her," the spokeswoman said in an interview with the Voskresny Vecher (Sunday Evening) with Vladimir Soloviyev program on the Rossia-1 television channel.
Apart from that, Zakharova drew attention to the words of thanks Butina had addressed to all those who supported her during her imprisonment in the United States. "I also want everyone to see it that everything is not in vain. She really sees and understands that she is backed by people who care about her," she stressed.
Butina’s father, Valery Butin, told TASS earlier that the family needed money to pay to her attorneys. He said the family had run out of money and her lawyers were working for nothing.
Maria Butina, 30, a graduate student at American University in Washington, was arrested on July 15 ahead of the Helsinki summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump. The Russian gun rights activist was faced with charges of conspiracy for conducting activities in the interests of a foreign state. Investigators claim that she was engaged in these activities without registering as a foreign agent at the US Department of Justice.
On December 13, Butina pled guilty to one of the charges on collision aimed at the violation of the laws on foreign agents in the US. She earlier signed a plea deal with the prosecutors. The court accepted the confession and appointed the next hearings on February 12. The date of the sentencing was not appointed at the request of a representative of the US Attorney’s Office who said that Butina was cooperating with the investigation and this process may take some time.