The US Embassy in Russia called the statement of Russian diplomats “fiction”
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a “revelatory” statement regarding the case of Paul Whelan, a former US Marine and US citizen who had previously been charged with espionage by Russian authorities. The Russian diplomatic service accused Whelan of pretending to be ill and had lied about his ill-treatment in a Russian prison.
The US Embassy called the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry a “fiction”.
Paul Whelan, who has an American, British, Canadian and Irish passport, was detained by FSB officers in a Moscow hotel on December 28, 2018. Moscow claims that Whelan was caught red-handed while transferring a flash drive with classified information. Whelan himself repeatedly denied all the charges against him.
The former marine insisted that he came to Moscow to marry his friend and received a USB flash drive from a friend of the Russian citizen, unaware of its contents. Whelan repeatedly made allegations of ill-treatment of him by prison staff and representatives of Russian special services. According to him, it is, in particular, about physical threats and refusals to provide medical care.
In a statement published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, it says that “representatives of the US Embassy in Russia .. regularly .. get access to it. They know very well that the public statements made by the accused about some bullying and even a threat to life in the pre-trial detention center are nothing more than a provocative line of defense … P.Wilan’s complaints about the conditions of detention and the actions of the investigators have never been confirmed. ” Whelan, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, receives “qualified medical care” on time.
The statement ends with the following conclusion: “Nothing is in danger of P. Whelan’s health, and the simulation, to which he periodically resorts, seems to be part of the training course for American intelligence officers.”
Rebecca Ross, official representative of the US Embassy in Moscow, responded to this statement on her Twitter, calling the message from the Russian Foreign Ministry a “fiction”: in fact, Whelan’s health condition is deteriorating. The Russian side also did not allow Whelan to make a single call to his family from the moment of his arrest.