US Official Admits That Paul Whelan’s Release Negotiations Will Continue

Paul Whelan

Despite negotiating Brittney Griner’s release successfully, the US has failed to secure the freedom of a countryman, Paul Whelan, who has been in jail a Russian jail for over 4 years. Whelan, a 52-year-old was given a 16-year jail sentence in 2020 on charges of spying.

Paul Whelan has expressed his frustration that the US has not done enough to secure his release. He said he was happy that Griner was released but expressed his great disappointment that no more was being done to secure his release, especially as four years have almost passed since his detention.

Paul Whelan Has Constantly Maintained His Innocence

Paul Whelan has maintained that he was arrested and sentenced for a crime he did not commit. Speaking over a phone from his penal colony in a remote part of Russia, he said he failed to understand his continued detention.

American officials have said that negotiations continued but admitted that they failed to see any immediate road to Paul Whelan’s release. They say that Russia had treated the case differently and said the espionage charges, which they termed a sham, continued to work against him. But they continue to believe that communication channels remain open to secure his release from Russian detention.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the talks that led to the release of Griner did not include any talks on Paul Whelan. He said that whether it could lead to talks in the future was a distinct issue. But he talked about the creation of a positive atmosphere.

Speaking on similar lines, a Kremlin spokesperson said it was for the two intelligence agencies involved in the negotiation for the release of Victor Bout and Griner. He said they continued to be focused on the specifics.

Paul Whelan’s brother, David, has said that he has doubts the US has any concession that could be deemed acceptable to the Russians.