Multiple news agencies are reporting that the Biden administration has offered a deal that would bring Paul Whelan, brother of Martha’s Vineyard artist Elizabeth Whelan, home.
According to the news outlets, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that Russia has been offered a 1-for-2 exchange. The United States would release Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Whelan and WNBA star Brittney Griner.
The Whelan family released an email on Wednesday afternoon saying they would be unavailable for comment. “Like you, we are learning more today about the U.S. government’s attempts to secure Paul, and Brittney Griner’s, release from wrongful detention by the Russian government,” the email states. “ Our family appreciates the Biden Administration seeking Paul’s release using the resources it has available. We hope the Russian government responds to the U.S. government and accepts this or some other concession that enables Paul to come home to his family. Hopefully no other American will be wrongfully held by the Russian government in the future. The sooner the better.”