Russian officials turned down the latest offer to free Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, two U.S. citizens who are being held in Russia, according to a press conference on Tuesday. Despite not giving any specifics, Matthew Miller, a spokeswoman for the Department of State, said that the U.S. offer was seen as “significant.” Miller was angry and said, “We shouldn’t have to make these suggestions.” They should not have been taken at all. Both of them should be freed right away. The refusal was a blow, but Miller said that the U.S. would still keep trying to bring both Gershkovich and Whelan back home.
According to News Max report, in a political defeat, Russia has officially turned down the latest offer from the Biden administration to free Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, two U.S. citizens who are being held in prison. The news came on Tuesday. Matthew Miller, a spokeswoman for the Department of State, called the U.S. plan “significant” but wouldn’t give any specifics. Miller was angry that these kinds of talks had to happen and said, “We shouldn’t have to make these proposals.” They should not have been taken at all. Both of them should be freed right away. Even though the request was turned down, Miller stressed that the U.S. would keep working hard to bring both Gershkovich and Whelan back home, saying that this was the top concern for both the secretary of state and the president. After the fact, the Wall Street Journal said that unnamed sources said the deal included the possibility of exchanging prisoners between the two countries. U.S. officials say that both Gershkovich and Whelan are being held illegally. Gershkovich is a writer for the Wall Street Journal and is being charged with spying. Whelan is a corporate security executive and is serving a 16-year sentence on similar charges. The last time the US and Russia traded prisoners was in July 2022.