FILE – A poster photo of U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Russian prisoner Trevor Reed stands in Lafayette Park near the White House, March 30, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
UPDATED 10:55 AM PT – Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Trevor Reed, a prior service Marine jailed in Russia, was traded for a Russian citizen imprisoned in the US. After lengthy negotiations Wednesday, Russia’s foreign minister said the US agreed to return a Russian pilot serving a 20-year federal prison sentence in Connecticut for smuggling cocaine into the US. His name is Konstantin Yaroshenko.
The two prisoners were reportedly swapped in an undisclosed European location. This came after Reed was sentenced in 2019 for allegedly assaulting a Russian officer while intoxicated in police custody.
Analysts are noting how the timing of the diplomatic exchange is extraordinary.
“Relationships between the United States and Russia are at their lowest points in decades because of Russia’s war with Ukraine, So there’s been clear antagonism between these two global powers,” stated Eric Tucker from the Associated Press. “So the fact that they were able to make any sort of agreement or reach any sort of resolution is pretty striking and remarkable.”
The exchange comes as WNBA star Brittney Griner and corporate security executive Paul Whelan both remain jailed in Russia.