UK warns Russia about using citizens as political pawns

Britain cautioned Russia on Friday that individuals should not be used as diplomatic pawns after a former U.S. marine who also holds British and Irish passports was detained in Moscow on dubious charges of espionage. 

Paul Whelan was arrested by the FSB state security service on December 28th. His family have stated that he is innocent and that he was in Moscow to attend a wedding. 

“Individuals should not be used as pawns of diplomatic leverage,” British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said. “We are extremely worried about Paul Whelan. We have offered consular assistance,” 

Since leaving the U.S. military, Whelan had worked as a global security executive with U.S. companies, had visited Russia and had developed a network of Russian acquaintances. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week that Washington had asked Moscow to explain Whelan’s arrest and would demand his immediate return if it determined his detention is inappropriate. 

The FSB has opened a criminal case against Whelan but given no details of his alleged activities. In Russia, an espionage conviction carries a sentence of between 10 and 20 years in prison. 

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WANTE...

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