President Joe Biden held meetings with family members of two Americans detained in Russia Friday at the White House, assuring them of his commitment to bringing them home safely.
Biden met Elizabeth Whelan, sister of US Marines Paul Whelan, and Cheryl Greiner, wife of Britney Greiner, along with Greiner’s agent, Lindsey Colas, in two separate meetings in the Oval Office, where he expressed a desire to have Greiner and Whelan. Return to American soil “in the forefront of mind.”
Friday’s meetings marked the first personal interaction between Biden and the families involved. Biden and his team, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, said in August that the United States had made a “substantial” proposal to Russia in an effort to secure the release of Grenier and Whelan.
However, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that Russia had not responded to the Biden administration’s proposal, which resulted in Grenier and Whelan remaining in Russian prison.
In July, the Biden administration proposed a prisoner exchange that included Greiner and Whelan for Victor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 and is said to be a second Russian also being held in a US prison.
“Unfortunately we don’t have a result here to tell you about, but the president felt it was important to continue the dialogue with family members,” Kirby said. Bloomberg. “The primary goal of the meeting today is to be able to update the families and keep them fully informed of where we are in the process.”
White House press secretary Karen-Jean-Pierre stated that a meaningful proposal had been made about the prisoner and that Russia should move forward with it. “There is a great offer on the table, and they have to accept it,” said Jean-Pierre.
The United States considers both Greiner and Whelan to be unjustly detained. Mercury star has been detained in Russia since then February arrested At the Moscow airport, she was accused of having cannabis oil in her luggage. Greiner Admission of guilt drug charges in July.
In August, he was a two-time Olympic Goals medalist Convicted of drug charges He was sentenced to nine years in prison. since then, Griner Legal Team has issued an appeal from her sentencing, although there have been no recent developments with regard to the appeal. Whelan is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence on espionage charges that he and his family say are false.
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