28 Dec 2023 10:51

U.S. to continue working to secure Paul Whelan's release in Russia - Blinken

WASHINGTON. Dec 28 (Interfax) - The United States will continue to try to secure the release of U.S. citizen Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

"We will not rest until he is safely back with his family where he belongs," Blinken said.

December 28 marks five years since the Russian authorities "wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan," the Department of State said in a statement.

"Not a day goes by without intensive U.S. Government efforts to bring Paul home," Blinken said.

Whelan, who is a citizen of the U.S., Ireland and Canada, as well as a British national, was detained in Moscow on December 28, 2018, and was charged with spying. The Moscow City Court sentenced him to 16 years in a penal colony for espionage on June 15, 2020. Whelan, who maintains his innocence, is serving his term in high-security penal colony No. 17 in Russia's internal republic of Mordovia.