US diplomats regularly visit detained Americans, says embassy in Russia

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MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. US diplomats regularly visit detained Americans to make sure they receive humane treatment, Spokesperson for the US embassy in Moscow Andrea Kalan told TASS when asked if diplomats would once again visit US citizen Paul Whelan, detained in Russia on suspicion of espionage.

“We visit detained US citizens regularly and seek to ensure that they receive humane treatment and access to medical care,” she said.

American’s detention

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Monday that Whelan had been detained in Moscow on December 28 while on a spy mission. The FSB Investigative Department opened an investigation under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (espionage), which carries a punishment of ten to 20 years in prison. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the US embassy in Moscow had been notified about Whelan’s detention in accordance with the bilateral consular convention.

Apart from US citizenship, Whelan also holds British, Canadian and Irish passports. US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman visited him at Moscow’s Lefortovo pre-trial detention center on January 2.

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