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Maria Butina
In this photo taken on Sunday, April 21, 2013, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia. Butina, a 29-year-old gun-rights activist, served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on American officials and political organizations and working to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin, federal prosecutors charged Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo)

Russian FM tells Pompeo: Russian's arrest 'unacceptable'

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Foreign Minister has held a telephone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he complained about the Americans' arrest of a Russian woman on allegations of being a covert agent.

U.S. prosecutors have accused Maria Butina of working to infiltrate political organizations, including the National Rifle Association, before and after Donald Trump's election as president in 2016.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "stressed the unacceptability of the actions of the U.S. authorities who arrested Russian citizen Butina on the basis of fabricated charges, and the need for her early release," the ministry said about the Saturday call.

The two diplomats also "exchanged views on prospects for further building relations" in the wake of the Helsinki summit of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the ministry said.

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