Day 18 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Jan 14, 2019 - lack of information from MFA

The family spoke with U.S. Embassy officials this morning but there continues to be a lack of information from the Russian government:

 - While US, UK, Canadian, and Irish consular officials met today to coordinate their visits, the Russian authorities have yet to grant the next visit for Paul; 

 - One obstacle remains the Russian requirement that Paul approve these consular visits, even though he requested consular access from the UK, Canada, and Ireland on January 2, 2018, at his first - and only - meeting with U.S. Embassy staff and Ambassador Huntsman.  We had hoped Paul would have had at least one consular visit last week.  Since his lawyer was on holiday, prison monitors appear, according to media reports, to have been the only ones to have seen him since January 2d; 

 - US Embassy staff have still not been allowed to present the Privacy Act waiver for Paul's signature; 

The lack of visits also mean Embassy staff have not been able to present Paul with a Power of Attorney supplied by his family, to allow family members to handle his affairs in the U.S. while he is imprisoned. 

 We were glad to hear that Ambassador Huntsman will be in Washington, D.C., today for the Chiefs of Mission meetings.  We are hopeful he will have an opportunity to speak with State Department and other agency staff, and Congressional representatives about Paul's case.