BARNAUL, December 27. /TASS/. The Russian Peace Foundation has donated one mln rubles ($14,500) to help incarcerated Russian citizen Maria Butina to pay her US lawyer’s fees, Maria’s father Valery Butin told TASS on Thursday.
The Maria Butina Fund raising money for the Russian was established at the initiative of her lawyer Robert Driscoll, since Maria’s family does not have enough money to pay the fees.
"The Peace Foundation has donated one mln rubles to the Maria Butina Fund, all other donations amount to 600 rubles ($8.7). The lawyer will soon complete his work. I owe him a total of 30 mln rubles ($435,000) for what he has been doing since July," Maria Butina’s father said.
The Russian Peace Foundation is an official partner of the Russian Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights. It seeks to facilitate peace, friendship and harmony among people, as well as to contribute to the development of humanity and charity.
Maria Butina, 30, was arrested in Washington DC on July 15, right before the Helsinki meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump. The US Department of Justice said that she was 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."
On July 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo that Butina be released as soon as possible. He also slammed all charges brought against her as fabricated.
On December 13, Butina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the US law governing foreign agents operating in the country. The next court hearing has been scheduled for February 12.