04:54 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Russian activist Mariia Butina was arrested Sunday, July 15 by the FBI on charges of being an unregistered agent.

    Russian Diplomats to Visit Maria Butina in US Detention on Thursday

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    Russian Embassy staffers will visit Maria Butina on Thursday who is being held in Washington DC on charges of being a foreign agent, the Embassy said.

    "The Embassy has obtained a permit for consular workers to visit M.V. Butina on July 19. We will provide her with necessary support," the diplomatic mission said on Facebook.

    On Tuesday, the Russian Embassy in the United States said its diplomats have not yet been provided access to Butina. Butina’s attorney Robert Driscoll said in a statement on Monday that she is not an agent of the Russian Federation, and that the substance of the charge in the complaint is overblown.

    The lawyer in the statement stressed that there is no indication of Butina sought to influence or undermine any US policy or law, and that the complaint is simply a misuse of the Foreign Agent statute.

    On Monday, the US government charged Butina for conspiring to act as a foreign agent in the United States and then added the charge of acting as a foreign agent without registering with the US Department of Justice. She pleaded not guilty to both charges at her first court appearance on Wednesday.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zaharova said Butina was detained right before the summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in an effort to minimize the positive outcomes of the meeting.

    US Judge Deborah Robinson said on Wednesday that Maria Butina will be held in prison until the end of her trial on charges of conspiring to act as a foreign agent and will not be released on bail.

    The US Attorney for the District of Columbia on Wednesday filed in a district court a memorandum in support of pretrial detention for Russian citizen Maria Butina requesting that she remains detained pending trial because of an extreme flight risk.

    "Because Butina has been exposed as an illegal agent of Russia, there is the grave risk that she will appeal to those within that government with whom she conspired to aid her escape from the United States. In sum, the Court should grant the government’s motion to detain Butina pending trial," the memorandum said.

    US prosecutors explained in the memorandum that Butina applied for a US student visa as a part of an operation to enter the United States. She choose the student visa option after considering risks associated with traveling to the United States on a tourist visa, the memorandum added.

    The court document said during the course of this investigation, the FBI determined Butina gained access through "US Person 1" to an extensive network of US persons in positions to influence political activities in the United States.

    Maria Butina is a student from Russia who has recently graduated from American University in Washington DC with a Master’s Degree in International Relations. According to media reports, Butina was a former assistant of Russian Senator Aleksandr Torshin who established the non-governmental group "Right to Bear Arms".

    She is being held at a prison facility in downtown Washington, DC, her lawyer Robert Driscoll told reporters, though he did not provide additional details.

    Related:

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    US Justice Dep't Claims Butina Was in Contact With Russian Intel Officers - Docs
    'Hypocrisy to Accuse Butina of Doing Same Thing US Has for 70 Years' – Writer
    Russian Envoy on Butina's Arrest: US Intel 'Hunting' for Russians Abroad
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    detention, visit, diplomats, Russian Embassy in US, Maria Butina, United States
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