NEW DELHI, March 2. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed that he contacted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a request to accept the US’ offer on exchange of US national Paul Whelan, sentenced in Russia for espionage.
According to Blinken, he raised this issue during a brief conversation with Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 Meeting of Foreign Ministers in New Delhi.
"I also raised the wrongful detention of Paul Whelan as I have on many previous occasions," Blinken said during a press conference Thursday. "The United States has put forward a serious proposal. Moscow should accept it."
He added that the US is "determined" to bring Whelan and other US nationals detained across the world home.
Whelan, who has citizenship of Ireland, Canada, the US and the UK, was detained in Russia during an espionage action on December 28, 2018. The Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia initiated a criminal case over charges of espionage. The Moscow City Court sentenced Whelan to 16 years in prison.