Russian woman’s arrest unacceptable, Lavrov tells Pompeo

The Russian foreign minister has complained to the top US diplomat over the arrest of 29-year-old Maria Butina on suspicion of espionage.


Maria Butina (AP)
Maria Butina (AP)

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has told US secretary of state Mike Pompeo that the Americans’ arrest of a Russian woman on allegations of being a covert agent is “unacceptable”.

US prosecutors have accused Maria Butina of working to infiltrate political organisations, including the National Rifle Association, before and after Donald Trump’s election as president in 2016.

Mr Lavrov “stressed the unacceptability of the actions of the US authorities who arrested Russian citizen Butina on the basis of fabricated charges, and the need for her early release”, the ministry said about the call.

The two diplomats also “exchanged views on prospects for further building relations” in the wake of the Helsinki summit involving Mr Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin, the ministry said.

Press Association

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