A White House official said the administration would contact Russia “this week” to discuss Paul Whelan
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that the White House is “committed and determined to ensure that we work through a successful method to secure Paul Whelan’s release as soon as possible,” while acknowledging that, in recent months, it had become clear, “what Russia was asking To secure Paul Whelan’s release was not something we should have been able to deliver.”
“This is a problem we’re trying to solve — we have a number of ways that we’re working on solutions, and we’re going to be lobbying every day, from the president down, to finally develop a formula that works,” Sullivan told reporters during a White House briefing on Monday, noting the “sensitivity of this issues.”
“And that’s as far as I can go today, but I just stress that our commitment to this is very strong and intense, and that’s a top priority as the president,” he added.
Sullivan later told CNN’s Phil Mattingly that administration officials “will be in touch with him [la federación rusa] This week “to address Whelan’s case, but” I’m not going to say more about it, because we’re trying to keep that in secret channels, but that’s the schedule, and we’ve had regular contact, of course, all the way through and the next high-level conversation is going to happen this week.
But he rejected the idea that the United States would change any specific policy, including with regard to Ukraine, in return for Whelan’s release.
“I can’t answer such a general question, I mean, if the meaning is we’re going to take a different approach to Ukraine or something like that? The answer is no. We’re not going to take a different approach to Ukraine,” Sullivan said.
He confirmed that members of the National Security Council and the State Department actually met with Whelan’s sister, Elizabeth Whelan, on Monday, but he told reporters he was not part of the meeting.
I actually participated in the conversation that the President had with Elizabeth a few days ago, where they also exchanged ideas and talked about how to proceed. You’ll understand I can’t go into detail about the kinds of things we’re thinking about to try to make sure we get Paul home as quickly as we can,” Sullivan said.
“I will just say that the discussions with Paul Whelan’s family have been substantive, they had a number of very good questions and also a number of suggestions they made as we work out what it takes to eventually secure his release and how we can get that done and be able to sit down with the Russians and come to an agreement.” “.
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