Day 867 - Paul Whelan - IK-17 Mordovia Russia - May 14, 2021 - Consular Services Temporarily Restored

Paul's sister Elizabeth has been in Washington D.C. this week. She was able to meet with Ambassador John Sullivan, who was stateside from the US Embassy in Moscow for a while. Elizabeth was also able to have other meetings, including with the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA) office. We appreciate the time the US government agencies and elected representatives make to meet with our family to discuss Paul's case.

Secretary of State Blinken spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov [5/12/20221] and again mentioned Paul's wrongful detention. Just as he had in February [2/4/2021], Secretary Blinken "called on Russia to release Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed so they can return home to their families." We hope that the US and Russia will continue to discuss Paul's case when Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov meet next week in Iceland.

We are also glad to see that there has been a reprieve for the Russian staff employed by the US Embassy in Moscow. While the Russian law requiring their dismissal still exists, the implementation date has been postponed into July. The US Embassy has announced a temporary resumption of consular services. The US American Citizen Services in the US and in Moscow are a lifeline for Paul. We hope that this postponement will continue as long as possible to enable the consular staff to continue to serve American citizens in Russia.

[Ned Price's statement, May 12, 2021: ]
[Ned Price's statement, February 4, 2021: ]
[Russian Government Postpones Russian staff elimination at US Embassy:
Посольству США в Москве сообщили о планах РФ отложить запрет на наем иностранцев ( ;
МИД РФ: посольство США попросило отложить запрет на наем местных граждан - Новости – Мир – Коммерсантъ ( ]