Butina pleaded guilty in a U.S. court on Thursday to a single conspiracy charge in a deal with prosecutors.
The 30-year-old Siberian admitted working with a top Russian official to infiltrate a powerful U.S. gun rights group and to making inroads with American conservative activists and politicians as an agent for Moscow.
"Butina confirmed that she had done a deal with U.S. investigators and confessed to being a foreign agent," Zakharova told a news briefing in Moscow.
"Having created unbearable conditions for her and threatening her with a long jail sentence, she was literally forced to sign up to absolutely ridiculous charges."
Butina's legal team and U.S. prosecutors face a 5 p.m. (2200 GMT) deadline to submit legal filings regarding their positions on the case at the U.S. District Court in Washington. A status hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2019. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow and Susan Heavey in Washington; Writing by Andrew Osborn Editing by Tom Balmforth)
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