US. working on the 'next step' in securing the release of Paul Whelan: Hostage negotiator

Biden administration officials will meet Monday morning to discuss next steps in securing the release of former US Marine Paul Whelan, who was imprisoned in Russia in 2020 on spying charges, President Joe Biden's top hostage negotiator said Sunday.

Hostage envoy Roger Carstens told MSBNC that the president and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were privately focused on getting Whelan released. He told CNN that the government could soon roll out new sanctions under an executive presidential order signed last summer. Biden on Thursday announced a prisoner swap involving American basketball star Brittney Griner, but was unable to secure Whelan's release. Biden said Russia was treating Whelan's case differently, but promised never to give up.

“We are working hard. We have come up with various ways to do this. We will not fail in this mission," Carstens told MSNBC.

In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Carsten said the administration could immediately use new powers included in an executive order signed by Biden this summer authorizing sanctions and visa bans against people responsible for unlawfully detaining Americans.

“We are working on the target package now. It's something we discuss all the time. And it won't be too long before you see something roll out," he told CNN.

Whelan's brother, David, said he was aware of the meeting but had no idea of its agenda or scope. "It's great that the White House didn't let grass grow under their feet," he told Reuters. "Given it came just days after the exchange with Russia, it doesn't seem fair to set any expectations or pressure in the first step to recalibrate bringing Paul home." penalty.

Asked what realistic choices the US government would have to make to bring Whelan home, Carstens told CNN: “I'd love to tell you about that, because, to me, that's very interesting and exciting. But… in these negotiations, since they were ongoing, we usually had to keep our cards close to our chests. Carstens told CNN he spoke to Whelan on Friday, the day after the Griner exchange, and told him: “Paul, you have this presidential commitment… Keep the faith. We've come to pick you up."  This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS.  

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