MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. The Russian side does not discuss with Washington the possibility of trading Paul Whelan, an American convicted in Russia of espionage, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated on Tuesday.
"We are not having a dialogue with the US as regards trading Paul Whelan. It is not clear what the basis for the periodic revival of this subject is. Americans are aware of our proposals to resolve an issue of the return of the compatriots who were unjustly convicted with lengthy sentences, which is important to us," the senior diplomat stressed.
In this regard, Ryabkov reiterated that earlier Moscow had submitted to Washington lists of its citizens who could have been considered as candidates for applying the mechanism of the Council of Europe’s convention on extraditing the arrested to their country of citizenship. "They did not show any interest. So, from all points of view, the ball is in their court," the senior diplomat pointed out.
Earlier Whelan’s attorneys reported of the active talks to trade their client. According to them, the swap may occur in September.