Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Britain tells Russia not to use detained ex-U.S. marine as pawn

UPDATE 2-Britain tells Russia not to use detained ex-U.S. marine as pawn
(Image Credit: Pixabay)

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

Paul Whelan was arrested by the FSB state security service last Friday. His family have said he is innocent and 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," Hunt said. "The U.S. are leading on this because he is a British and American citizen."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week that the United States had asked Russia 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 not given any details of his alleged activities. In Russia, an espionage conviction carries a sentence of between 10 and 20 years in prison.

Whelan's family have said that he was visiting Moscow for the wedding of a retired Marine.

The detention further complicates a strained relationship between Moscow and Washington, despite the professed desire of the two presidents, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, to build a personal rapport.

U.S. intelligence officials accuse Russia of meddling in U.S. elections -- a charge Russia denies.

Russian national Maria Butina admitted last month to U.S. prosecutors that she had tried to infiltrate American conservative groups as an agent for Moscow.

David Hoffman, a former CIA Moscow station chief, said it was "possible, even likely" that Russia had detained Whelan to set up an exchange for Butina.


Whelan's British citizenship introduces a new political dimension: ties between London and Moscow have been toxic since the poisoning in Britain of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Britain alleges Skripal was poisoned by Russian intelligence agents posing as tourists, while Russia denies any involvement.

Whelan is director of global security at BorgWarner, a U.S. auto parts maker based in Michigan.

The company said in a statement that Whelan was "responsible for overseeing security at our facilities in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and at other company locations around the world". Its website lists no facilities in Russia.

U.S. media reported that he had previously worked in security and investigations for the global staffing firm Kelly Services, which is headquartered in Michigan and has operations in Russia.

Whelan's military record, provided by the Pentagon, showed that he had served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 14 years until he was discharged in 2008 after being convicted on charges related to larceny. (Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...


Latest News

FACTBOX-Who is WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange?

A London court begins hearings on Monday to decide whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States where he is wanted over charges that he conspired to hack U.S. government computers and violated an espion...

OLTA cements Tanzania's status as best global travel destinations

Tanzania continued to cement its status as among the worlds best tourism destinations after scooping the Best International Wildlife Destination award at the Outlook Travellers Awards OLTA held in India at the weekend.The country achieved t...

UPDATE 2-Italian bond yields jump, entire German curve negative as coronavirus hits Italy

Italys borrowing costs jumped on Monday and the entire German bond yield curve was back in negative territory after a worsening coronavirus outbreak in Italy exacerbated concern about the outlook for the euro zone economy. A fourth person i...

Sterling drops as spreading coronavirus sends investors into dollars

Sterling fell on Monday as rising fears about the economic impact from the spreading coronavirus encouraged investors to seek safety in the U.S. dollar. The British pound dropped along with most currencies as investors scrambled out of asse...

Give Feedback