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03:54

Russia: Butina’s arrest ‘a put-up job’ planned to undermine Putin-Trump summit – MFA

Russian Federation, Moscow
July 18, 2018 at 17:33 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova discussed the White Helmets and the arrest of Russian citizen Maria Butina in the US over alleged spying, during her weekly briefing in Moscow on Wednesday.

Zakharova said the White Helmets could be planning "a provocation" in Syria's Idlib since according to her they were seen dropping unidentified supplies in the town recently.

Discussing the case of Butina, who was arrested by the FBI last week for allegedly working for the Kremlin and trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republican party, the spokesperson said the news of Butina's arrest were released in order to undermine the summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

"We have an impression that somebody took a watch, a calculator and counted when it was necessary to decide on the arrest of Maria Butina to do as much as possible to disrupt the outcome of the summit," Zakharova said.

The spokesperson also said the extension of foreign visitors' visa-free entry into Russia with the Fan-ID card is being prepared.

President Putin announced after the World Cup final on Sunday that the visa-free entry with the Fan-ID will be extended for the rest of 2018. It was originally planned to expire on July 25.

03:54
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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova discussed the White Helmets and the arrest of Russian citizen Maria Butina in the US over alleged spying, during her weekly briefing in Moscow on Wednesday.

Zakharova said the White Helmets could be planning "a provocation" in Syria's Idlib since according to her they were seen dropping unidentified supplies in the town recently.

Discussing the case of Butina, who was arrested by the FBI last week for allegedly working for the Kremlin and trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republican party, the spokesperson said the news of Butina's arrest were released in order to undermine the summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

"We have an impression that somebody took a watch, a calculator and counted when it was necessary to decide on the arrest of Maria Butina to do as much as possible to disrupt the outcome of the summit," Zakharova said.

The spokesperson also said the extension of foreign visitors' visa-free entry into Russia with the Fan-ID card is being prepared.

President Putin announced after the World Cup final on Sunday that the visa-free entry with the Fan-ID will be extended for the rest of 2018. It was originally planned to expire on July 25.

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