BARNAUL, July 19. /TASS/. Family members of Maria Butina arrested in the US have failed to contact her, Maria’s father Valery Butin told TASS, adding that the family had contacted neither the Russian embassy in the US nor the defense attorney.
"I get information only from the media. We failed [to contact Maria]," Butin said.
Maria Butina was arrested in Washington DC on July 15 on charges of acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.
According to the US Department of Justice, the 29-year-old Butina is suspected of acting "as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation."
The complaint further states that Butina had the right to enter and reside in the United States on a student visa, but "undertook her activities without officially disclosing the fact that she was acting as an agent of Russian government, as required by law."
Russian Defense Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow considered Washington’s allegations against Butina to be groundless and politically motivated. According to her, Russia has been doing everything possible to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the arrested woman.