July 18, 2018 / 1:33 PM / 5 months ago

Russia says no grounds for arrest in U.S. of suspected Russian agent: RIA

Public figure Maria Butina (R) attends a meeting of a group of experts, affiliated to the government of Russia, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on July 17, 2018. Press Service of Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the arrest in the United States of a 29-year-old woman accused of being a Russian agent was carried out to spoil the positive impact of Monday’s Russia-U.S. summit in Helsinki, RIA news agency reported.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was cited as saying there were no grounds for the detention of Russian Maria Butina, who was arrested on Sunday, a day before presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met in Helsinki.

Butina has been charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian government.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Catherine Evans

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