U.S. consular representatives pay Paul Whelan a visit at the Russian prison-embassy

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Paul Whelan, an American Marine Corps veteran serving a jail sentence in Russia for espionage, was visited by consular representatives, the US embassy in Russia reported on Wednesday. Whelan is being held in a Mordovia region prison.

“Today, consular officers of the U.S. embassy in Moscow visited the wrongfully detained US citizen Paul Whelan at IK-17 in Mordovia,” the embassy stated in a statement posted on the messaging app Telegram.

Whelan, a frequent traveler to Russia, was detained and accused of spying in Moscow in 2018.In 2020, he was found guilty and given a 16-year prison term. Whelan has refuted the accusations made against him, as has the US government.

In essence, the White House is claiming the allegations are baseless and has declared him to have been illegally jailed. The same has been alleged about Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained by Russia since March 2023 and is accused of spying.

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