Woman charged with acting as Russian agent in US

File photo.

Federal authorities have arrested a Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organisations, including a gun-rights group, at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.

According to court papers in Washington, Maria Butina was arrested on Sunday on a charge of conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.

The papers say Butina worked on behalf of an unnamed Russian official to influence senior US politicians and develop relationships with other political organisations between 2015 and 2017.

Prosecutors say the Russian official has since been sanctioned by the United States.

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