Day 840 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - April 16, 2021 - Sanctions and Summits

President Biden issued an executive order yesterday [4/15/2021] sanctioning Russians and Russian entities.  The sanctions and expulsion of Russian diplomats are for actions the US government perceives the Russian Federation to have taken.  The Russian Federation has responded that they will take reciprocal measures.
 
These are not the first sanctions the US has aimed at the Russian Federation while Paul has been a Russian hostage.  The longer his wrongful detention continues, it's possible they won't be the last.  The diplomatic visa war and years of other tit-for-tat responses - a dacha here, a diplomatic property there, the expulsion of 60% of US Embassy staff - will probably also continue.
 
The Biden Administration's actions and the anticipated reciprocal Russian response raise two concerns for our family.  I'm sure they are the same for any family of someone wrongfully detained by a foreign nation.  First, the sanctions continue to make it difficult for the two nations to create the relationship and dialogue necessary to create conditions that might lead to Paul's release.  Second, the winnowing of US Embassy staff in Russia will make the difficult work of consular support even harder.
 
Fortunately, both before and after the sanctions announcement, President Biden has made it clear that he would like for the US and the Russian Federation to have a stable relationship.  Paul has been a Russian hostage for 840 days.  The US - Russia relationship during that time has resembled a catboat in a hurricane.  A summit and some rapprochement would be a welcome change.  I hope President Putin will accept the summit invitation.
 
Ms. Zakharova stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs perspective is that the US is "trying to destroy bilateral relations" ("Нет, они просто пытаются разрушить двусторонние отношения").  The MFA also summoned Ambassador Sullivan to a meeting with Deputy Minister Ryabkov.  So it is unclear whether the Russian Federation is confident that a change is possible.  Hopefully Senator Dzhabarov's perspective that this might be an attempt at softened US rhetoric ("попытался своим выступлением смягчить риторику") will win out.
 
We appreciate journalists like you taking the opportunity to ask about American hostages in Russia.  And we are glad to see that, as Ms. Psaki reiterated yesterday, "issues of the detainment of American citizens" are continually raised in diplomatic conversations. We realize the freedom of individuals can get lost amid discussions of nuclear arms, terrorism, and national security.
 
President Biden said yesterday that the US and Russia are "two great powers with significant responsibility for global stability" and that "our two countries have been able to find ways to manage tensions and to keep them from escalating out of control."  There are huge issues needing attention.  We hope that both the US and Russian Federation governments take the opportunity to talk about them.  And, at the same time, use those opportunities to solve the smaller problems as well, like wrongfully detained citizens.  Like freedom for Paul.
 
 
 
[ Senior Administration officials on background regarding the sanctions (4/15/2021): Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on Russia | The White House ]
 
[ US Consul General Statement, 4/1/2021, about closed consulate at Vladivostok: Statement from the Consul General on the Suspension of Operations at U.S. Consulate General, Vladivostok ]  
[President Biden's remarks (4/15/2021): Remarks by President Biden on Russia | The White House ]



More Articles ...

  1. Day 824 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - March 31, 2021 - spring visitors to Paul Whelan
  2. Day 800 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - March 7, 2021 - Visit by Canadian Ambassador LeClaire
  3. Day 768 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - February 3, 2021 - State Dept Listens
  4. Day 761 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - January 26, 2021 - A New Hope
  5. Day 716 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - December 15, 2020 - 23 1/2 Months in Russian Detention
  6. Day 686 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - November 13, 2020 - Human Rights Visit
  7. Day 675 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - November 5, 2020 - Prison Inflicts Sleep Deprivation
  8. Day 650 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - October 8, 2020 - Hostage Diplomacy
  9. Day 636 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - Sept 24, 2020 - Ambassador Sullivan Visit
  10. Day 634 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Sept 22, 2020 - US Ambassador Visits Camp IK-17
  11. Day 628 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Sept 16, 2020 - Paul Whelan allegedly moved to Mordovia
  12. Day 612 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia - August 31, 2020 - Nowhere Man
  13. Day 559 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - July 3, 2020 - Some News, Some Waiting
  14. Day 545 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - June 25, 2020 - No Appeal
  15. Day 536 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - June 16, 2020 - What's Next
  16. Day 535 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - June 15, 2020 - Sentenced to 16 Years
  17. Day 531 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - June 11, 2020 - Last Update Before Trial Ends
  18. Day 518 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - May 29, 2020 - Emergency Surgery
  19. Day 515 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - May 26, 2020 - Trial Over, Sentencing on June 15
  20. Day 510 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - May 21, 2020 - Setup for a $1400 Debt
  21. Day 507 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - May 14, 2020 - The Trial Continues
  22. Day 500 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - May 7, 2020
  23. Day 488 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - April 29, 2020 - Prosecution Rests, Still No Evidence of Espionage
  24. Day 474 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - April 15, 2020 - Hearings, Virus Threat
  25. Day 461 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - April 2, 2020 - Denied PPE, Court Hearings Postponed
  26. Day 453 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - March 25, 2020 - Visit by Three Ambassadors
  27. Day 447 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - March 19, 2020 - Secret Trial Scheduled for March 23
  28. Day 432 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - March 4, 2020 - Turns 50 in Prison, Awaits Trial
  29. Day 419 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - February 22, 2020 - Trial Approaching
  30. Day 402 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - February 3, 2020 - Ambassador Sullivan's Visit, Appeal Hearing
  31. Day 398 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - January 30, 2020 - First Consular Visit in 2020
  32. Day 362 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Christmas Eve, 2019 -Detention Extended...Again
  33. Day 357 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - December 19, 2019 -Next Detention Hearing, Job Loss
  34. Day 355 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - December 17, 2019 -Collateral Damage
  35. Day 350 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - December 12, 2019 -Russian Corruption, American Defiance
  36. Day 344 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update December 6, 2019 - Prison Turkey, MFA Loses Facts
  37. Day 328 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update November 21, 2019 - Detention Continues
  38. Day 326 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update November 18, 2019 - No Medical, Misinformation
  39. Day 323 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update November 15, 2019 - Upcoming appeal hearing
  40. Day 300 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update October 24, 2019 - Detention until December 29
  41. Day 298 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update October 22, 2019 - House Resolution H.Res.552 passes
  42. Day 294 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update October 18, 2019 - David Urban lobbies for Paul
  43. Day 278 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update October 2 - Ambassador Huntsman's last visit
  44. Day 271 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update September 24 - detention appeal denied...again
  45. Day 261 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update September 17 - Paul tells media about set-up by FSB
  46. Day 259 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update September 13 - House/Senate resolutions introduced
  47. Day 238 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update August 28 - prison officials retaliating
  48. Day 217 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update August 1 - Foreign Minister Lavrov's wish list
  49. Day 200 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update July 1 - Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov's comments
  50. Day 182 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update June 28 - G20 summit
  51. Day 173 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update June 19 - Ambassador Bolton meeting
  52. Day 168 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update June 14 - FSB investigator angry at Paul
  53. Day 160 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update June 6 - FSB breaking Russian laws
  54. Day 151 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update May 28, 2019 - Detention extended another 3 months
  55. Day 145 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update May 22, 2019 - citizen unjustly held abroad
  56. Day 101 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update April 8, 2019 - no SPEHA for Paul
  57. Day 129 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update May 6, 2019 - attempts to coerce false confession
  58. Day 80 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update March 18, 2019 - call with DAS King
  59. Day 78 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update March 16, 2019 - Congress tweets
  60. Day 62 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Feb 28, 2019 - FSB isolates Paul
  61. Day 56 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Feb 22, 2019 - Extension of detention by 3 months
  62. Day 53 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Feb 19, 2019 - lawyer Zherebenkov meeting
  63. Day 40 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Feb 6, 2019 - still no Power of Attorney
  64. Day 29 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 25, 2019 - 5 consular visits
  65. Day 26 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 22, 2019 - Bail Hearing
  66. Day 25 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 21, 2019 - gofundme campaign started
  67. Day 21 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 17, 2019 - Pompeo speaks to Freeland
  68. Day 19 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 15, 2019 - still no Privacy Act Waiver
  69. Day 18 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 14, 2019 - lack of information from MFA
  70. Day 20 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 16, 2019 - Irish Embassy visits Paul
  71. Day 15 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 11, 2019 - Ambassador Huntsman calls family
  72. Day 12 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 8, 2019 - consular meeting requests
  73. Day 11 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 7, 2019 - family talks to embassies
  74. Day 08 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 4, 2019 - need Congress and State Dept help
  75. Day 05 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 1, 2019 - our brother arrested by FSB