Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was detained and accused of espionage, holds an indication as he stands inside a defendants’ cage throughout his verdict listening to in Moscow, Russia June 15, 2020.
Maxim Shemetov | Reuters
President Joe Biden mentioned he and Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the destiny of U.S. residents detained in Russia throughout the leaders’ summit Wednesday in Geneva.
“To the household of the detained Individuals, we mentioned it, and we’re going to observe via with that dialogue. I’m not going to stroll away on that,” Biden mentioned on the conclusion of a press convention.
Throughout his press convention after the assembly, Putin gave no particulars a few potential prisoner swap however mentioned that the discussions would proceed.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken had mentioned that potential prisoner swaps can be on the desk for the Putin-Biden dialogue. Blinken and different high officers joined Biden for conferences with their Russian counterparts.
In Could, Blinken known as on Moscow to launch former U.S. Marines Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, who’re serving 16-year and 9-year jail sentences, respectively, in line with a State Division readout of a dialog with Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Reed was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian jail final yr after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer throughout an evening out in Moscow. Whelan was arrested in 2018 on fees of appearing as a spy for the US. On the time he was arrested, Whelan was visiting Russia to attend a marriage, in line with his brother David Whelan.
Each Whelan and Reed deny the fees in opposition to them.
Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed, who was detained in 2019 and accused of assaulting law enforcement officials, stands inside a defendants’ cage throughout a courtroom listening to in Moscow, Russia March 11, 2020.
Tatyana Makeyeva | Reuters
The U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, known as the proof in opposition to Reed “flimsy.”
“If this case had been introduced in a U.S. courtroom, not solely would it not have been thrown out, however the prosecutors can be investigated for bringing it ahead within the first place,” Sullivan instructed NBC Information.
Within the days main as much as the summit, Reed’s mother and father publicly appealed to Biden to hunt their son’s launch.
They’ve additionally mentioned they would not object to a prisoner swap between Moscow and Washington if it meant the return of their son. “We do not care how he comes residence, in the event that they wish to alternate Trevor for some criminals that, you recognize, are low-level criminals or no matter,” Trevor’s father, Joey Reed, mentioned on NBC’s “TODAY” present on Monday.
“We’re nice with that. We wish our son residence,” mentioned Trevor’s mom, Paula Reed.
David Whelan, nonetheless, has expressed issues concerning the thought of a prisoner swap.
“He’s harmless, he was wrongly accused. We’d slightly see the door come open and him come out slightly than some type of negotiated launch of Russian convicts,” Whelan mentioned Monday on “TODAY.”
Putin, who was first to handle the press after the bilateral assembly, mentioned that talks with Biden have been “very productive” and “there was no hostility” between the 2.
In a separate press convention, Biden described the talks as “good, constructive” and reiterated that he was hopeful the 2 leaders might work collectively on widespread pursuits.