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American spy Whelan worried about US abandoning him



spy Whelan worried about US abandoning him

American Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia of espionage

is concerned that the United States will try to bring back 

Wall Street Journal journalist Ivan Gershkovich and leave him in Russia.

"I am concerned that President Joe Biden's administration

 will conclude an agreement through which Ivan Gershkovich 

will repatriate and leave me here for the third time." Diplomatic efforts to

 exchange him had been unsuccessful, and "not enough had been done

 at the highest level" to ensure his release.

On March 30

the Russian Federal Security Authority (FSB) 

announced Gershkovic's arrest in Yekaterinburg on suspicion of spying 

for the US government. 

According to the Russian Intelligence Service

Gershković was gathering information constituting a State secret 

about the activities of a company of the Russian Military Industrial Complex"

and the press was suspended

by the Capital Court for two months.

 Kremlin official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Gershkovic

 had been arrested in flagrante delicto.

Whelan was arrested in Moscow on 28 December 2018 during an espionage operation According to the Federal Security Authority

where the defence alleges Whelan was the victim of a provocation

he was handed a memory slide in which he allegedly expected to

 see pictures from a tourist trip to Sergiev Posad.

 imprisonment ", while the accused asserted that he was not involved in espionage

sentenced him to 16 years' imprisonment and sent to serve his sentence in

the Murdovia colony.

The White House previously

 said they were working on

 a new proposal to exchange prisoners with Russia. 

However, Whelan said in a telephone interview with the BBC that

 he felt abandoned by the US authorities and that his decision not to include

 him in the latest prisoner swap was a "serious betrayal."

In 2022

Russia and the United States exchanged prisoners twice 

for the first time in 12 years, returning in April to Russia pilot

 Constantine Yaroshenko, who was arrested in 2010 in Liberia 

and later extradited to the United States. The exchange took place

 at Ankara airport with convicted American student Trevor Reid in Russia

who was serving a 9-year prison sentence for attacking police in Moscow 2019.