On Monday, the representatives of the embassy attended Butina's another court hearing. The judge rejected the bail request and banned the sides from giving interviews to the media.
"The arguments published by the US prosecution (looks more like legal grounds for Russophobia) deserve a careful analysis in order to fully understand this theatre of absurd surrounding Maria. For instance, the prosecution carefully counted the number of our diplomatic notes sent to the State department on Maria’s case, as well as the number of consular visits to Maria in prison by our Embassy’s officials. The numbers allowed the prosecution to claim that the Russian citizen is 'valuable' to her country," the embassy said in a statement.
Even though the mission understood that such visits were "irritating," they helped diplomats to receive first-hand information on violations of the rights of Russian citizens in US prisons, the statement added.
"We can say with confidence that if the situation continues, the prosecution will lose count of our official appeals to the US Department of State. 'Evaluation' of our official activities undertaken by the US prosecution will be the subject of a separate diplomatic note — it’s a promise," the embassy said.
Butina, a recent student and a highly visible political activist, was arrested in Washington, DC in mid-July on suspicions of acting as an agent for a foreign government.
Russia has strongly criticized the US government for detaining Butina, and has characterized the charges against her as "clearly groundless." The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina's ongoing detention unacceptable. The Russian Embassy in the United States stressed that the young woman was experiencing psychological pressure in prison, including frequent nighttime checks, strip searches and denial of medical care.