WASHINGTON D.C. (WLNS) – The release of Brittney Griner is also putting the spotlight on a former U.S. Marine and Michigan native who’s been detained in Russia since 2018.

His name is Paul Whelan. President Biden says the administration is still continuing to work on his release.

Whelan was arrested nearly four years ago after being accused of spying. He was convicted in June 2020 on espionage charges, which he says never occurred.

In an interview with CNN, Whelan expressed his frustration and says he’s disappointed no more has been done to secure his release. However, he says he is happy that Griner gets to go home.

President Biden also vowed to “never give up on him.”

“We have not forgotten about Paul Whelan, who’s been unjustly detained in Russia for years. This was not a choice of which American to bring home. We brought home Trevor Reed when we had a chance earlier this year. Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s,” said Biden

“I am happy that Brittney is going home today and that Trevor went home when he did, but I don’t understand why I am still sitting here,” said Whelan in an interview with CNN on Thursday

President Biden also says his administration has been in close contact with the Whelan family.
He says they are in his thoughts and prayers as they continue to negotiate his release.