Russia will do its best to help convicted Maria Butina

Moscow [Russia]: Russia Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Sunday assured that Moscow will spare no effort to help Russian national Maria Butina, who is lodged in a US prison.

Zakharova’s statement came after Butina in a video addressed from Oklahoma’s Grady County Jail on Saturday asked for financial assistance to pay for the services of her attorneys, TASS agency reports.

“You know, we don’t finance attorneys but we will do our best to see to it. And, naturally, once she has shared her problem we will try to do all we can to help her,” the spokeswoman said in an interview with a Russian televised network, Rossia-1.

Butina’s father, Valery Butin had earlier told TASS that the family needed money to pay to her lawyers. He said the family had run out of money and her lawyers were working for nothing.

Maria Butina, 30, a graduate student from American University in Washington, was arrested on July 15 last year, ahead of the Helsinki summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump.

Butina, a 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 had earlier signed a plea deal with the prosecutors. The court accepted the confession and appointed the next hearings on February 12.

However, the date of the sentencing was not announced 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.


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