An American detained in the Russian Federation is a retired marine who came to Moscow for a wedding

American citizen arrested in Russia on spying charges

An American detained in the Russian Federation is a retired marine who came to Moscow for a wedding

An American detained in the Russian Federation is a retired marine who came to Moscow for a wedding

This was reported on social networks by Paul Whelan’s relatives

US citizen Paul Whelan, arrested Friday in Moscow on suspicion of espionage, previously served in the Marine Corps..

Whelan’s family reported this on social media on Tuesday. Relatives got worried when he didn’t get in touch with them on Friday.

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“We saw reports that Paul Whelan, our son and brother, was detained in Moscow,” the relatives of the detained American said in a statement. “Paul is a retired Marine, he came to Moscow for a wedding.”.

An American detained in the Russian Federation is a retired marine who came to Moscow for a wedding

The family found out about the arrest only after it was reported by the Russian media. Whelan’s family contacted congressional officials and U.S. diplomats.

“We are very concerned about his safety and well-being,” said relatives. “His innocence is beyond doubt and we hope that his rights will be respected.”.

An American detained in the Russian Federation is a retired marine who came to Moscow for a wedding

On Monday, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) reported that Whelan was detained on December 28 “during an espionage campaign.” A criminal case has been opened against him.

The FSB does not specify any additional details, but the Russian agency TASS notes that if he pleads guilty, Whelan faces up to 20 years in prison..

A State Department spokesman said on Monday that the US authorities are aware of what happened..

“We were officially notified of the arrest by the Foreign Office,” the State Department said in a commentary. – In accordance with the Vienna Convention, Russia is obliged to provide consular access. We have demanded this access and hope that the Russian authorities will provide it. “The Department of State does not provide any further details, citing privacy concerns..

The arrest added to a string of spy scandals that have exacerbated tensions between Russia and the West. Among them – the attempt on the life of the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Great Britain, as well as the case of the Russian woman Maria Butina, who was found guilty of conducting activities as an unregistered foreign agent. Butina admitted that she acted on the instructions of a Russian official, trying to establish relations with influential Americans.

Whelan’s arrest became known less than a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his New Year greetings to US President Donald Trump, saying that Russia was ready to continue dialogue with Washington on a wide range of issues..

In 2016, the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia reported that there were 13 American citizens in Russian prisons at the time. Since then, the Kremlin has not released any details about other American citizens held in the United States..

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