MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. The Americans have lost their judicial system and risk losing their country, Maria Butina said onboard the plane on her way home after being released from US jail. Her interview was aired by Rossiya’1 TV channel on Saturday night.
"I believe that the Americans are wonderful people, but they have lost their legal system," Butina said. "What is more, they are routinely losing their country. They will lose it unless they do something."
According to Butina, the Russian president would stand up for any citizen who had found themselves in a dilemma similar to what she had gone through.
"I am very proud of my country, of my origin," Butina stressed. "And I come to realize it more and more."
Maria Butina was arrested in Washington DC on July 15, 2018, right before the Helsinki meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump. US intelligence services argued that the Russian citizen carried out this activity without being registered as an agent of a foreign state with the Department of Justice. On April 26, Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Moscow stated that the charges had been trumped-up and demanded her release from custody. Butina had arrived in the United States for a course of studies. In the spring of 2018, she obtained a master’s degree at American University, where she studied international relations.
On December 13, 2019, Butina pled guilty to a conspiracy to violate the US law governing foreign agents operating in the country and signed a plea agreement. On April 26, a court in Washington sustained the prosecution’s request for sentencing Butina to 18 months behind bars. Butina's sentence ended on Friday, October 25. She was released from prison and taken under the supervision of the US immigration authorities. On October 26, she returned to Russia.