U.S. ambassador allowed to see American arrested in Russia


This undated photo provided by the Whelan family shows Paul Whelan in Iceland. Whelan, a former U.S. Marine arrested in Russia on espionage charges, was visiting Moscow over the holidays to attend a wedding when he suddenly disappeared, his brother said Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (Photo: Courtesy of the Whelan Family via AP)

U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman was allowed to visit Paul Whelan, the American detained by Russia on spying charges, at a Moscow prison on Wednesday.

“Ambassador Huntsman expressed his support for Mr. Whelan and offered the embassy’s assistance,” a State Department spokesman said. Huntsman then spoke with members of Whelan’s family, who say he’s not a spy.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration would demand Whelan’s release if the charges are unfounded.

“We’ve made clear to the Russians our expectation that we will learn more about the charges, come to understand what it is he’s been accused of, and if the detention is not appropriate we will demand his immediate return,” Pompeo said during a trip to Brazil.

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