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Jailed US national Whelan received all medical assistance immediately — Moscow

On May 29, Whelan was returned to the pretrial detention facility, where he is receiving the necessary medical aid

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Paul Whelan, a US national held at a Russian detention facility on espionage charges, was examined by doctors immediately after he complained about health problems, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"On the evening of May 27, Whelan complained of noticeable worsening of health to the Lefortovo detention facility’s administration. Immediately after being examined by doctors of the medical unit, he was sent to the Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Aid," the Foreign Ministry said. "Early next day, Whelan underwent a minor surgery, which he had earlier rejected."

On May 29, Whelan returned to the pretrial detention facility, where he is receiving the necessary post-surgical medical aid.

"Diplomatic missions of the countries where Whelan has citizenship were informed about the surgery. On May 29, he held a phone conversation with the US embassy," the ministry said.

"We would like to note that Whelan received immediate medical assistance, unlike our citizens serving sentences in US prisons, who have to wait for it for a long time," it said.

Earlier, Whelan’s attorney Olga Karlova informed TASS that her client had undergone an inguinal hernia surgery.

US citizen Paul Whelan, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was detained by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on December 28, 2018 in Moscow while on an alleged spy mission. A criminal investigation was launched against him on espionage charges carrying a punishment of up to 20 years behind bars.

Whelan denies all charges. His defense insists that the case is fabricated, while Whelan’s activity in Russia was of a strictly humanitarian nature. The court will pronounce Whelan’s sentence on June 15.