A top U.S. diplomat has expressed regret at the jailing of a prominent Russian rights activist that forced the campaigner to miss a meeting with visiting U.S. officials.
In an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns expressed "regret" that he was unable to meet Lev Ponomaryov, who is serving a four-day jail sentence.
On September 7, a Moscow court found Ponomaryov guilty of refusing to obey police orders during an August 12 protest against Moscow's mayor.
Ponomaryov was due to meet Burns and U.S. President Barack Obama's Russian affairs adviser Michael McFaul today, along with other human rights activists.