We regret to say that the US news and opinion website, The Daily Beast, has again told lies to its readers by writing that Maria Butina, who was arrested in Washington last summer, “had the Kremlin’s blessing” to influence US politics. After the FBI forced Maria to incriminate herself by creating abnormal prison conditions for her and threatening with a harsh sentence, these masters of fake news once again posted allegations about Russian interference.
The conclusions pointing to this alleged interference are based on the fact that the leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA), one of America’s oldest and largest NGOs, visited Moscow a year before the US presidential election. One of those who organised that perfectly normal trip, that was no secret, was Maria Butina, a board member of the Russian Right to Bear Arms NGO who maintained close ties with fellow thinkers abroad.
The Daily Beast highlights the fact that the NRA delegation met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on December 9, 2015. This is true, but meetings arranged at the request of foreign public figures, researchers and business people are part of the Foreign Ministry’s daily routine, and we regularly report such events. For example, at that meeting with the NRA delegation the parties discussed the international situation and bilateral relations, as well as the issue of arms, which interests the American guests.
If the authors of this conspiracy theory went to the Foreign Ministry site, they would have learned that on the very next day, December 10, 2015, Sergey Lavrov met with William Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In keeping with this organisation’s interests, the conversation focused on international affairs as well as prospects for the Russian-US political dialogue.
Moreover, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Moscow three times in the year preceding the US presidential election. Overall, Sergey Lavrov had 18 personal meetings and 70 telephone conversations with John Kerry during that period of time. On February 29, 2016, CIA Director John Brennan visited Moscow.
Since The Daily Beast is worried that the NRA delegation could have meetings in Moscow with sanctioned Russian officials, we will tell you one more “secret.” US ambassadors to Russia kept asking for meetings with such sanctioned officials even after Washington became obsessed with black lists during the Obama administration.
We would like to recommend the none-too-scrupulous American journalists to stop lying to their readers. On the other hand, it is clear that they are working under orders from certain US political quarters.