4 Mar 2024 18:50

U.S. diplomats visited Whelan in Mordovia penal colony in late Feb - brother

MOSCOW. March 4 (Interfax) - U.S. diplomats visited U.S. citizen Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia of espionage, in the penal colony in Mordovia in late February, Whelan's brother David told Interfax.

"Paul spoke with [U.S.] Ambassador [to Russia Lynne] Tracy and [U.S.] Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken this year and was visited last week by U.S. embassy consular staff," he said.

The diplomats gave Whelan a new eyeglasses frame, as he lost his old one last year when he was struck by another inmate, his brother said.

Whelan also has a tooth fracture and will hopefully be provided with dental care in March, he said.

Paul Whelan, who is a citizen of the United States, Ireland and Canada and a British national, was sentenced by the Moscow City Court to 16 years in prison for espionage on June 15, 2020. He pleads not guilty. He is currently serving prison terms in Mordovia's high-security penal colony No. 17.