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Date TimeJuly 21, 2018
VoiceRussian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov addresses Butina’s detention in call with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo
Russia tells US to release alleged spy Maria Butina after fabricated charges
Russia’s foreign minister told his American counterpart on Saturday a woman arrested in the USA on accusations she was a Russian agent was detained on “fabricated charges” and should be released.
Sergei Lavrov made the comments about Maria Butina in a phone call to the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, that was aimed at improving bilateral relations, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement in the wake of the recent summit in Helsinki.
On Wednesday, a US judge ordered Butina jailed until her trial after prosecutors argued she had ties to Russian intelligence and could flee the country.

Butina has been accused of working with a high-powered Russian official and two unidentified US citizens, trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and influence US policy toward Russia.
Lavrov said the actions of the American authorities, who arrested Butina “on the basis of fabricated charges”, were unacceptable and called for her release as soon as possible.
Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed ways to improve bilateral relations on “equal and mutually beneficial grounds” after Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met in Helsinki on Monday.
They also talked over possible joint efforts aimed at improving the humanitarian situation in Syria, the statement said, and the “challenges” of nuclear talks with North Korea.

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