Paul Whelans’ sister says now is not the right time to designate Russia as a terrorist state – reports

Umer Jamshaid

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News/Sputnik – September 17, 2022) Eliabeth Whelan, the sister of US citizen Paul Whelan who is imprisoned in Russia for espionage, said in an interview for Politico that now is not the right time to designate Russia as a terrorist state after US senators unveiled new legislation that would bypass the State Department and label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

Whelan said she was not against the bill proposed by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Lindsey Graham, but considers their timing to be bad, Politico reported Friday.

She expressed frustration that none of the senators or five members of Congress who introduced a similar bill in the U.S. House of Representatives attempted to contact the Whelan family to explain that they had taken into account the interests of detainees, according to the report. .

Whelan also did not disapprove or support former US Ambassador Bill Richardson’s trip to Moscow to meet with Russian officials in an effort to persuade them to release his brother Paul and imprisoned basketball player Brittney Griner, the report adds.

US President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Whelans and Griners on Friday afternoon to brief them on his administration’s efforts to bring Paul and Brittney home.