White House official says administration will contact Russia “this week” to discuss Paul Whelan
The White House is “committed and committed to ensuring that we work through a successful mechanism to exonerate Paul Whelan as soon as possible,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday, while in recent months, that has become clear. “What Russia asked to secure Paul Whelan’s release is not something we can afford.”
“It’s a problem that we’re trying to solve — we have a number of ways, we’re working on solutions, and every day, from the president down, we’ll finally create a formula that works,” Sullivan told reporters during a White House press briefing on Monday, citing “the sensitivity of these issues.” .
“That’s all I can go into today, but let me emphasize that our commitment to this is absolutely firm, serious, and a high priority as the president,” he added.
Sullivan later told CNN’s Phil Mattingly that administration officials “will be in touch [la federación rusa] this week” to address Whelan’s case, but “I won’t say more about it because we’re trying to keep it in confidential channels, but that’s the schedule, and we’ve been in constant contact, of course, and the next conversation at a higher level will take place this week.
But he rejected the idea that the US would change any specific policies, including on Ukraine, in exchange for Whelan’s release.
“I can’t really answer a general question like this, like, are we going to take a different approach to Ukraine or something? The answer is no. We’re not going to take a different approach to Ukraine,” Sullivan said.
He confirmed that members of the National Security Council and the State Department almost met with Whelan’s sister, Elizabeth Whelan, on Monday, but told reporters that she did not participate in the meeting.
“I participated in a conversation with President Elizabeth a few days ago where they were brainstorming how to move forward. You understand that I can’t go into detail about the things we’re thinking about to make sure we get Paul home as soon as possible,” Sullivan said.
“I would say the discussions with Paul Whelan’s family have been substantial, they’ve had a lot of good questions, and we’ve put forward a lot of the suggestions that they’ve made, and we’re working to figure out what that’s going to be, how to ultimately secure his release, how to accomplish that and sit down with the Russians and come to an agreement,” he said. He added that.