28 Dec 2022 17:15

On 4th anniversary of Whelan's detention in Russia, Blinken vows to continue attempts to return him home

WASHINGTON. Dec 28 (Interfax) - On the fourth anniversary of United States citizen Paul Whelan's detention in Russia on spying charges, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has vowed to continue attempts to return him home, the U.S. Department of State said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

"His detention remains unacceptable, and we continue to press for his immediate release at every opportunity," Blinken said in his statement.

Blinken said he is firmly determined to return home not only Whelan but also other Americans wrongfully detained around the world.

U.S. President Joe Biden said earlier in December that he would continue to negotiate with Russian authorities over Whelan's release.

Whelan, who is a citizen of the U.S., 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 is now serving his term in high-security correctional facility No. 17 in Mordovia.