US spy suspect Paul Whelan’s relatives unhappy about inaction of US State Secretary

TASS Russian News Agency | Jan 17, 2020 at 5:21 PM

NEW YORK, January 17. /TASS/. Relatives of Paul Whelan, the American accused in Russia of spying, voiced their discontent at inaction by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and have pinned their hopes on new US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, said a statement released by David Whelan, Paul's brother, on Friday.

Paul Whelan "has been held at Lefortovo prison for 386 days," David Whelan said. "Despite his public pleas for help and support, no word from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Silence from President Donald Trump's administration. More than a year ago, Secretary Pompeo stated that he would seek Paul's release if the charges are unfounded. He has yet to take any action."

According to David, Paul's relatives pin their hopes on the new US ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan.

"We are looking forward to the imminent arrival of Ambassador John Sullivan. We are confident he will continue the advocacy of his predecessor, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, on Paul's behalf," he said.

US citizen Paul Whelan, 48, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was holding the position of a global security chief at BorgWarner, a Michigan-based automotive components company. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said Whelan was detained 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 anywhere from 10 to 20 years behind bars.