We appreciate the continued engagement by the US government in calling for an end to Paul's wrongful detention. Secretary of State Blinken raised Paul's case during a meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov in Stockholm on December 2d. We were glad to see that Paul's "release is an absolute priority for the United States ...."
[ Secretary of State Blinken's remarks, 12/2/2021: https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-russian-foreign-minister-sergey-lavrov-remarks-to-the-press-before-their-meeting/ ]
[ SPEHA tweet 12/2/2021: The Secretary also raised the unjust detentions of Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed and underscored the priority we attach to their prompt release. ]
Paul's siblings participated in an online roundtable with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday night [12/3/2021]. The call was attended by dozens of families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained, a gathering similar to the one hosted by Secretary Blinken in February 2021. There was a candid discussion and I came away with greater clarity about the White House's process. It feels as though the White House remains both engaged and listening to family concerns about bringing our loved ones home.
President Biden will be meeting with President Putin on Tuesday. We hope that President Biden will press for Paul's release, as his representatives in the State Department and the National Security Council have done. Our family realizes this meeting has greater issues to discuss - like the avoidance of another illegal invasion by the Russian Federation - against which hostage diplomacy pales in comparison. Yet I remain confident that President Biden will do what he can.
[ Press Secretary Jen Psaki's statement, 12/4/2021: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will hold a secure video call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia ]
Experiencing a wrongful detention as a family member can feel like running a marathon. But it lacks a marathon's milestones or any sense of progress: you are just running and hoping to eventually reach your goal without knowing how far away it is. A release will happen all of a sudden, or it won't. Until then, we continue to wait, and watch, and have faith that the US government is doing everything it can to bring Paul - and other Americans - home to their families.