“Our intense efforts to bring Paul home continue every day. And they will do so until he, Evan Gershkovich and all other unjustly detained Americans return to their loved ones,” Blinken said, also referring to the Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in Russia last March.

In December, Whelan told the BBC that he felt “abandoned” by the United States.

“I know the United States has all kinds of proposals, but it’s not what the Russians want,” Whelan told the British media outlet. “They come and go, like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.”

He called the situation “extremely stressful” and said he felt like the United States had “basically abandoned me here.”

By Sam