- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2019

The Kremlin said Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has no plans to meet Maria Butina when she returns to Moscow soon after spending 15 months imprisoned in the U.S.

Butina, a 30-year-old Russian activist, was arrested in D.C. in 2018 and subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent.

She was released Friday from a federal prison and was being deported, Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., said previously.


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Butina is slated to arrive Saturday in Moscow, Mr. Antonov said this week.

Dmitry Peskov, Mr. Putin’s press secretary and adviser, told reporters that the president does not plan to meet Butina when she returns to Russia this weekend, regional press outlets reported.



Federal prosecutors in D.C. charged that Butina infiltrated groups including the National Rifle Association in order to covertly advance Russian interests in the U.S. She pleaded guilty late last year to one related count of conspiracy and has served roughly 15 months of an 18-month prison sentence.

Russian government officials previously characterized Butina as a political prisoner and repeatedly complained about her arrest and detainment.

Commenting on Butina’s prosecution previously, Mr. Putin called it a “travesty of justice.”

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