Russian diplomats have visited Maria Butina in a US prison and held a telephone conversation with Dmitrii Makarenko, who was detained by the FBI in the Northern Mariana Islands in late December and is currently in custody in Hawaii, the Russian Embassy in the United States said
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 11th January, 2019) Russian diplomats have visited Maria Butina in a US prison and held a telephone conversation with Dmitrii Makarenko, who was detained by the FBI in the Northern Mariana Islands in late December and is currently in custody in Hawaii, the Russian Embassy in the United States said.
"Diplomats paid a planned visit to M.V. Butina in the prison of Alexandria, Virginia. Maria did not voice any complaints about the detention conditions. She is preparing for the court hearing scheduled for February 12, 2019," a spokesman for the embassy said on Thursday.
He added that the Russian diplomats also held "a telephone conversation with D.V. Makarenko, who is being held in a prison in Honolulu, Hawaii, in anticipation of his transfer to the city of Miami, Florida."
The embassy continues to provide assistance to Russian citizens, ensuring that their legal rights are observed, the spokesman stressed.
Butina was arrested on July 15 on suspicion of working for the Russian government as a foreign agent. She initially denied the allegations, pleading not guilty and insisting that she did not commit a crime. But on December 13, she agreed to cooperate with US Federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent.
Commenting on Butina's case at his annual press conference on December 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he did not see any reason for the United States to keep the Russian national in detention, as she was never on any government mission and apparently only pleaded guilty to get out of serving a long prison sentence.
Makarenko was arrested on December 29 over allegations of illegally exporting military goods. The court ordered the Russian national to be brought to the Southern District of Florida. The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded explanation from Washington regarding reasons for his arrest.