Atlanta, USA (CNN) — The Russian Foreign Ministry said that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken never raised the issue of detained US citizen Paul Whelan despite Blinken’s clear statements that he spoke about Whelan in his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said: “It turns out that the US Secretary of State did not even mention this.
And the US Secretary of State said, on Thursday, that he raised the issue of the detention of US citizen Paul Whelan in his meeting with Lavrov, and the text of the statement stated: “I also raised the false detention, as it has done on many occasions. The United States has put forward a serious proposal, and Moscow must accept it.” “.
Whelan, who holds American, Irish, British and Canadian citizenship, was detained in a hotel in the Russian capital, Moscow, in December 2018 by the Russian authorities based on allegations of his involvement in an intelligence operation.
The detained American citizen was tried in 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in prison, in a trial that US officials described as unfair.