The new U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan speaks to the media after visiting Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine who was arrested for alleged spying in Moscow on Dec. 28, 2018, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr)
UPDATED 6:08 PM PT — Thursday, January 30, 2020
The new U.S. ambassador to Russia said a former U.S. Marine, who is imprisoned in the country, is suffering in confinement. On Thursday, Ambassador John Sullivan met with Paul Whelan, who’s been in custody in Russia since the end of 2018 on allegations of spying. Sullivan is now calling for his release.
“It’s time for this nightmare to end, and for Paul to go home,” he said.
Sullivan stated there is “no evidence and clearly no crime” in the case. He added Whelan has been denied proper medical attention.
“His health has clearly deteriorated since he was arrested over 13 months ago,” said the ambassador. “He hasn’t received medical treatment for those medical problems which…are extremely uncomfortable and potentially a serious threat to his health.”
FILE- In this Aug. 23, 2019, file photo, Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine who was arrested for alleged spying in Moscow on Dec. 28, 2018, speaks while standing in a cage as he waits for a hearing in a court room in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
The 49-year-old Whelan has maintained his innocence and said he’s been mistreated during his imprisonment.
He has been isolated from his family for more than a year now. Sullivan noted it can take as much as six months to receive letters from home.