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Russian FM tells Pompeo: Russian’s arrest ‘unacceptable’

The 29-year-old Russian woman has been arrested for conspiring to influence US politics by cultivating ties with political groups including the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun rights lobby. Mariia Butina was arrested in Washington on July 15, 2018 and appeared in court on July 16, the Justice Department said. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Minister has held a telephone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he complained about the Americans’ arrest of a Russian woman on allegations of being a covert agent.

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

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “stressed the unacceptability of the actions of the U.S. authorities who arrested Russian citizen Butina on the basis of fabricated charges, and the need for her early release,” the ministry said about the Saturday call.

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

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