Paul Whelan, an American held in a Russian prison on espionage charges, criticized President Biden for failing to secure his release, despite promises to do so.
Whelan expressed disappointment in the administration’s efforts, highlighting the loss of negotiating leverage with Russia and the challenging conditions he faces in the labor camp.
He urged Biden to “man up” and honor promises made. (Trending: Founding Dixie Chick Member Dies Unexpectedly)
The White House stated that securing Whelan’s release is a top priority and has made significant offers to Russia, but so far has been denied.
“Mr. President, you promised to bring me home. I’m still here. There has to be more that you can do to secure my release,” Whelan said.
“The concern that I have is that diplomatic efforts have failed and not enough is being done to secure my release from the very top.”
“My message to him is quite simply, I’ve been told that everyone is doing all they can and that my release is a top priority,” Whelan added.
“Promises have been made, and I need everyone who has made those promises to now man up and honor them.”
“They have no bargaining position now,” Whelan said.
“And knowing that the government has done that is quite depressing. And regardless of all the promises that are being made and all the optimism that I’m hearing, I’m still here.”
“I’m quite depressed. As a matter of fact, I mean, it’s Christmastime. I’m away from family.”
“I’ve been here five years. I’m surrounded by criminals. It’s not a healthy environment,” Whelan said.