The USA and Russia find themselves caught in another major dispute. This time, it’s over the arrest of an American citizen who has been accused of being a spy.
The man known as Paul Whelan is a veteran of the US Marines. It has led to some political back and forth between the two countries. Whelan has claimed that he was set up and the entire trial is sham being used to set him up for political reasons.
The 50-year-old was found guilty of receiving classified information in a USB drive. Meanwhile, Whelan claims that he was given the drive by a friend. The USA has raised strong objections against the sentencing of their citizen.
WHAT DID THE USA SAY?
The USA has released a statement about the issue. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed strong condemnation.
“The United States is outraged by the decision of a Russian court today to convict US citizen Paul Whelan after a secret trial, with secret evidence, and without appropriate allowances for defence witnesses,” he said.
Russia has rejected any possibilities of a deal between the two nations taking place. This was after a prisoner swap agreement was being touted. It has been outrightly rejected by the Russian authorities by stating the importance of law.
“No, it is not possible. He was sentenced by a court decision, and the court decision says it all. He was charged and the charges were then proven in court and accepted by the court,” Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson said.
This will lead to further escalation of tension between the two nations. The situation required some more stable responses. That can only happen when they are ready to listen to the concerns of each other.