Russia has granted consular access to US citizen Paul Whelan who has been detained over charges of spying. However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry informed that the decision to allow the retired US Marine Paul Whelan to have an access to US consular officers was taken after Mike Pompeo; U.S. Secretary of State stated that he is expecting an answer on why the American was arrested and pressed Paul’s immediate release in case the detention is not correct.
Paul Whelan was arrested on 28th December by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), during a spying act in Moscow. Russia has also initiated a criminal investigation against the US citizens over espionage charges. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that if the charges are proved, the US citizen might face imprisonment for 10-20 years. However, further details on the matter were not disclosed.
The US State Department stated that on learning about the arrest of the US citizen Paul Whelan in Moscow, they urged for consular access and were hopeful that Russian authorities would grant it. Speaking on the issue, Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the US Embassy was informed about Paul’s detention in conformity with consular convention. Later on, a spokesperson of the US State Department affirmed the truthfulness of the statement.
Paul Whelan has been working as director of global security at BorgWarner. BorgWarner is a supplier of American automotive parts. Before working in BorgWarner, he was employed in the US Marine Corps, from where he was removed due to his misbehavior and on many instances of larceny.
Paul’s twin brother David Whelan stated that his family learned about Paul’s arrest after Russian state news channel started to broadcast the news. He added that his brother wasn’t guilty and he was in Moscow in order to attend a wedding ceremony.