Whelan Not On Lists For Potential Russia-US Prisoner Swap- Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 15th June, 2021) Former US marine Paul Whelan, serving a sentence in Russia for espionage, is not on lists for potential Russia-US prisoner exchanges, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

CNN reported that the US judge who sentenced Russian national Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison said it would make sense to exchange him for someone like Whelan.

"If the Americans agree to use the mechanism of the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, we are ready to hand over their citizens to the Americans in return," Ryabkov said in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

"There were some discussions at the previous stages of who exactly in this connection we could have in mind, but Mr. Paul Whelan, anticipating your question, was not on those lists... and references that we made, and now this issue is irrelevant, it is not considered in this context," he said.