Paul Whelan 'confident' his release from Russia is 'a priority' for US government: CNN

Paul Whelan 'confident' his release from Russia is 'a priority' for US government: CNN
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Paul Whelan, a former United States Marine who has been in detained in Russia since December 2018, believes the U.S. government is working diligently towards his release, CNN reports.

Per the news outlet, Whelan wishes process for his release "could be faster," but also worries "he could be left behind again – particularly after the Russians wrongfully detained American journalist Evan Gershkovich.

"That's an extreme worry for me and my family," he told CNN Sunday.

READ MORE: House Republican: 'Only' Donald Trump has the 'ability' to stand up to Russia and China

"I have been told that I won't be left behind, and I have been told that although Evan's case is a priority, mine is also a priority, and people are cognizant of the fact that this is having an extremely negative impact on me and my family. And I'm told that the government is working tirelessly to get me out of here and to get me home so they can then focus effort on Evan and his case,' Whelan said.

He added, "I feel that my life shouldn’t be considered less valuable or important than others who have been previously traded," — such as WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was released in December — "And I think there are people in DC that feel the same way, and they’re moving towards a compromise and resolution to this as quickly as they can."

The Canadian-born American continued, "There will be an end to this, and I hope it’s coming sooner than later, but it is depressing on a daily basis going through this,” adding he experiences "the usual aches and pains of forced labor … and poor living conditions."

He then emphasized, "That's a daily reminder of where I am and how long I’ve been here."

READ MORE: Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel among hundreds banned from Russia over U.S. sanctions: report

CNN's full report is available at this link.

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