President Biden is anticipated to boost the destiny of two former U.S. Marines held in Russian prisons when he meets with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, based on White Home officers.
Final yr, Paul Whelan wasby a Russian court docket of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in jail. Whelan, who additionally holds British, Irish and Canadian passports, was arrested in Moscow in December 2018. Prosecutors alleged he was working for American intelligence and was caught receiving a USB drive containing categorized data. Whelan has denied he was a spy and stated he was arrange.
David Whelan, Paul’s brother, despatched a recorded assertion from the imprisoned American to reporters on Tuesday forward of the summit.
“President Biden, after 30 months of being wrongfully detained by the Russian authorities — which is twice so long as Americans have been held hostage in Tehran — I implore you to carry this appalling case of hostage diplomacy to an finish. I stay harmless. No crime of espionage occurred. The key trial, with out proof, proves these details. The kidnapping of an American vacationer can’t stand,” Whelan stated.
David Whelan stated his brother made the assertion in a Might 30 telephone name to their mother and father and needed it launched earlier than Mr. Biden’s assembly together with his Russian counterpart.
Trevor Reed additionally made a plea for freedom on Monday in audio obtained by CBS Information. “I’ve spent my entire life within the service of my nation and I might recognize it if my nation would carry me house,” he stated.
Reed wasin 2019 and charged with assaulting law enforcement officials after a drunken birthday celebration in Moscow. He was sentenced to 9 years in jail.
Reed’s mom, who spoke to CBS Information, stated a profitable summit would imply “they’re making a plan to free him quickly.”
“It is not going to occur in a single day, he is not going to fly house with the president. At the least that there’s some good talks that they agree that he will probably be coming house quickly,” Paula Reed stated.
“It is essentially the most hopeful we have been in virtually two years,” Reed’s father, Joey, stated.
Putin advised NBC Information forward of the summit that he’s open to a. However Deputy Overseas Minister Sergey Ryabkov advised Russian media that Whelan was not an choice for a swap. U.S. officers have stated a swap is off the desk.
Kaci Sokoloff contributed reporting.