Father of Paul Whelan was reassured Friday by President Biden that he will bring home her brother, the ex-Marine who had been held in Russia since 2018. on suspicion of spying.
The meeting was followed by stinging criticisms from Mr. Whelan’s family about how Mr. Biden seemed to ignore their pain.
According to a White House statement, Mr. Biden stated that the U.S. would continue to pursue its efforts to free Paul, Brittney Griner, and other Americans being held hostage around the globe.
” The U.S. government will remain in contact with Paul’s families, as well as with other Americans wrongfully held abroad, to offer support and information, and to keep them informed on the progress of efforts to release their loved ones,” said the official.
Ms. Whelan raised the pressure earlier in the week on the White House for her release. After the President said that his administration was trying to get Britney Griner freed, the WNBA player was detained at Moscow’s Airport in February after he allegedly found a vaporizer cartridge containing marijuana oil.
” “We are still looking for the press release by @POTUS stating that #PaulWhelan has been wrongfully held in Russia for 3.5-years,” Ms. Whelan posted on Twitter.
“I am crushed. He needs to speak to the Whelans if he is to discuss securing Paul’s release. We need to ask ourselves: She said, “It is!”
Mr. Biden called Ms. Griner’s wife Cherrelle Griner on Wednesday, after Britney Griner had written a plea for assistance earlier in the week.
Cherelle griner is becoming more critical of Nr. Biden was critical of the response by the government to Britney Griner being held in Russia. She expressed gratitude for President Biden’s call and said that she would continue to apply pressure.
” I am thankful to them both for their time with me, and the dedication they showed to getting BG back home,” Cherelle Griner stated.
Last Month, the State Department canceled a call scheduled for the Griners fourth anniversary. This was to have been the first contact between the two in several months.
Brittney griner tried to dial a number she was given for Saturday calls 11, but due to staff shortages on weekends the U.S. Embassy in Moscow could not patch the call.
The State Department has apologized for the “logistical error .”
Cherelle griner stated that she was losing all faith in the U.S. government due to the mix-up.
Brittney Griner, in a letter she wrote to Biden this week, expressed concern that “terrified” she might remain here for ever .”
Ms. Griner plead guilty on Thursday to drug charges before a Moscow court. She faces up to 10 year in prison.
According to the State Department, Ms. Griner is being held by Russia while Mr. Whelan is detained.
Mr. Biden was said to have been kept informed about the Whelan situation by staff of the special envoy. They also called Ms. Whelan this week.
National security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken have also reached out to Ms. Whelan. However, Mr. Biden is not.