U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Visits Imprisoned American Paul Whelan

The U.S. ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited former U.S. marine Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia on spy charges for over four years, on Thursday.  

Permission to pay a visit to Whelan in Mordovia, a southeastern Russian region, comes just over two weeks after Tracy was given access to U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in March on espionage charges.

The prison visit also comes after Washington said “there was a proposal on the table for [the release of] Paul” in March.

Washington says both Whelan and Gershkovich are “wrongfully detained” and has accused Moscow of “hostage-taking.”

The U.S. embassy in Russia said Tracy traveled to the IK17 prison in Mordovia — some 400 kilometers southeast of Moscow — to visit Whelan in a region notorious for its harsh prisons. 

“The U.S. government will continue to engage Russian authorities on his case so Paul can come home as soon as possible,” it said. 

It called working on his release an “absolute priority.” 






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