Russian lawmakers have asked the foreign minister to draw up a list of officials involved in the prosecution of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper reported Tuesday.
Butina was sentenced to 18 months after she pleaded guilty in December to conspiring with a Russian official to infiltrate a gun rights group and influence U.S. conservative activists and Republicans. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Butina’s sentencing, where she will be deported back to Russia after serving approximately half her prison term, an outrage.
Russian deputies asked Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to draft a so-called “Butina List” of U.S. officials accused of “violating the fundamental rights and freedoms of Russian citizens,” Izvestia reported.
“The threat of making it into the ‘Butina List’ should over time sober up foreign officials accustomed to the almost unpunished harassment of Russians,” the lawmakers reportedly said.
Moscow estimates 40 Russian citizens have been arrested abroad at the request of U.S. intelligence services since the two sides agreed on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters in 1999.
A U.S. State Department warning against traveling to Russia in 2018 prompted the Foreign Ministry to warn its compatriots that U.S. intelligence services are “hunting” for Russians abroad.
- Moscow Times