Zakharova used her weekly briefing in Moscow on Friday to dismiss again reports that Russia plans to carry out a spy swap of detained US Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan and Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina.
According to the Russian Security Service (FSB), Whelan was detained in Moscow on December 28 as he was caught red-handed while carrying out spying activities. Maria Butina was charged by prosecutors in July with acting as a foreign agent and conspiring against the US government.
Talking about charges filed by the US federal court against Russian Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Zakharova said “starting criminal cases with unclear claims against Russian citizens is becoming a custom in the US,” adding, “we are not ready to put up with this that is why we expect clear explanations from Washington in relation to these accusations against Natalia Veselnitskaya.”
Now Veselnitskaya is charged with obstruction of justice during the investigation into money-laundering case of the Prevezon Holdings company that was settled in 2017.