A new report revealed on Saturday that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to free Maria Butina as soon as possible because she was detained on “fabricated charges.”
According to Reuters, Lavrov called Pompeo demanding that he release Butina if the U.S. wants to improve its relationship with Russia.
According to the outlet, the two diplomats also discussed ways to improve Russia-U.S. relations on “equal and mutually beneficial grounds.”
A few issues they talked about reportedly included Syria and the “challenges” of working toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Butina was arrested last week and was charged with “conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General,” according to the Justice Department (DOJ).
“Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank,” the DOJ alleges, adding that her purpose was “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”