8 Dec 2022 18:25

Biden vows to continue negotiating convicted spy Whelan's release with Russia

WASHINGTON. Dec 8 (Interfax) - United States President Joe Biden promised on Thursday to continue negotiations with Russian authorities to secure the release of U.S. citizen Paul Whelan convicted in Russia for spying.

"And while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul's release, we are not giving up. We will never give up," Biden said in commenting on the exchange of Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who was serving his prison term in the U.S., for American citizen Brittney Griner, who was convicted in Russia.

"We'll keep negotiating in good faith for Paul's release. I guarantee that," Biden said.

"This work is not easy, negotiations are always difficult, there are never any guarantees," Biden said.

He suggested that "Russia is treating Paul's case differently than Brittney's."

Biden also called on Russian authorities to take care of Whelan's health until the U.S. can return him home.

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. The American is now serving his term in high-security Colony 17 in Mordovia.