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02:41

Russia: Ambassador Antonov slams Butina's arrest as 'farce'

Russian Federation, Moscow
July 20, 2018 at 17:37 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian envoy to the US Anatoly Antonov called the detention of the Russian citizen Maria Butina a farce, when speaking at the Valdai forum in Moscow on Friday.

"What they are doing is a farce - the accusations are absolutely illegal, the attempts to prevent Russian diplomats from meeting this girl, [the attempts] to break her, actually," Antonov said.

He assured that Russia is doing everything possible to achieve the release of Butina, who was arrested by the FBI last week on the suspicion of working for the Kremlin and trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republican Party.

During the press event, Antonov also informed his audience that US lawmakers are planning a new Russia visit. At the same time, the diplomat noted that there was little chance of Russian lawmakers travelling to Washington before the US congressional elections in November, explaining that the atmosphere in the country is too "toxic" for that.

With regard to the possible US trip of Russian President Vladimir Putin Antonov said that he had no information on such plans.

02:41
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Russian envoy to the US Anatoly Antonov called the detention of the Russian citizen Maria Butina a farce, when speaking at the Valdai forum in Moscow on Friday.

"What they are doing is a farce - the accusations are absolutely illegal, the attempts to prevent Russian diplomats from meeting this girl, [the attempts] to break her, actually," Antonov said.

He assured that Russia is doing everything possible to achieve the release of Butina, who was arrested by the FBI last week on the suspicion of working for the Kremlin and trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republican Party.

During the press event, Antonov also informed his audience that US lawmakers are planning a new Russia visit. At the same time, the diplomat noted that there was little chance of Russian lawmakers travelling to Washington before the US congressional elections in November, explaining that the atmosphere in the country is too "toxic" for that.

With regard to the possible US trip of Russian President Vladimir Putin Antonov said that he had no information on such plans.

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