Former US Marine Paul Whelan is confident that the US will be able to break him out of a Russian prison
Former US Marine Paul Whalen, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in Russia on espionage charges, announced on Sunday that he was confident that US authorities would secure his release.
Whelan said in an interview with the American series CNN, “I stay positive and I believe every day the wheels are turning. I just want them to turn a little faster.” Player Brittany Griner was released in a prisoner exchange.
“They’ve told me I’m not going to hold back, and they’ve told me that although Ivan’s (Gerschkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal) case is a priority, mine is, too,” said the ex-Marine.
In this sense, they have indicated that “they are aware” that the arrest is “affecting them very negatively.” “They told me the government is working tirelessly to get me out of here and home so they can focus their efforts on Ivan and his case,” she insisted.
“I feel that my life should not be treated as less valuable or important than others that have been traded before. I believe that there are people in (Washington) D.C. who feel the same way, And moving towards such an agreement and solution as much as possible. Possible,” he insisted.
Whelan, 50, was detained by agents of the Federal Security Service at a Moscow hotel in December 2018. According to Russian intelligence, an external memory device containing classified information was found in his possession. However, the ex-marine says Russian authorities set him up because according to his version, an acquaintance of Russian nationality had given him the above ‘pendrive’ which he thought contained photographs from his last vacation.