Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed, who was sentenced to nine years in Russia for violence, was exchanged Wednesday with a Russian pilot imprisoned in the United States since 2010, in a prisoner exchange reminiscent of Cold War prisoners.
“On April 27, after a long negotiation process, Trevor Reid (…) was replaced by Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison by an American court.In 2011, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Telegram. “Trevor, released from prison in RussiaJoe Biden said in a statement. According to the American president, the negotiations required decisions. “Difficult“.”His safe return is a testament to the priority my administration places on returning Americans held hostage and unjustly held abroad.“, He said.
However, a US official said Washington does not expect any improvement in relations with Russia and will continue to support Ukraine despite the prisoner exchange. “This represents no change – nothing – from our view of the horrific violence in Ukraine.This official told reporters. The “Discussions with the Russians that led to this exchange were strictly limited to these topics‘It wasn’t about ‘Not (who) a larger conversation or even (who) a conversation starterHe said on condition of anonymity.
Trevor Reid and Konstantin Yaroshenko
Trevor Reed’s family told CNN they spoke to him on the phone and told him to “goHassan“But it seems”A little outdated“.”He looked like he was in shockHis mother, Paula Reed, said his father, Joey, said his son had been transferred to another prison.this week“Then he was flown to Turkey. “Trevor quickly tells us that the American plane was stationed near the Russian plane and that they released the two prisoners at the same time as in the movies.‘, he said. A US official told reporters, asking not to be named, that Trevor Reid was on his way to the United States. Russian television broadcast pictures of Trevor Reid, dressed in black and carrying a large suitcase, as he boarded a plane at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. The 30-year-old in July 2020 was imprisoned for nine years for assault in August 2019, while two police officers were drunk, summoned to a concert scene in Moscow. He denied the attack and denounced the case “PolicyIn the midst of Russian-American tensions.
Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested in May 2010 in Liberia by US intelligence agents. He was accused of drug smuggling in connection with the Colombian FARC, was transferred to the United States and then sentenced to 20 years in prison. And Russian news agencies quoted Victoria, wife of Konstantin Yaroshenko, that the exchange took place in Turkey. A plane from Ankara with Konstantin Yaroshenko on board landed around 12:30 GMT in Sochi, the Russian coastal resort on the shores of the Black Sea, according to Interfax. His lawyer Alexei Tarasov described him as “Easter miracle“His release, adding that the exchange was under negotiation.”long time ago“And that the pilot is in good health, and he is in his fifties.”Leaves much to be desired“.
When convicted in the United States, Moscow “I constantly took steps to secure his releaseOn Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a press statement that he is eligible for his return to Russia.victory of justice“.
Joe Biden’s pledge
Trevor Reid was arrested in a criminal colony in Mordovia, 500 kilometers from Moscow, and he went on a hunger strike in November 2021 to protest the conditions of his detention. His lawyer, Sergei Nikitinkov, claimed that he was placed in solitary confinement several times and that the prison administration did not send him the letters he received. The lawyer told Interfax on Wednesday that he had not requested a presidential pardon. US President Joe Biden vowed to do everything to free Trevor Reid and other Americans.unjustly detainedIn Russia, the hypothesis of a prisoner exchange was regularly raised, especially before the meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva in June 2021. Then the Russian president showed himself open to such a possibility, adding that it was “full listOf the Russians imprisoned in American prisons.
Among the most frequently mentioned is the name of Paul Whelan, an American who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage and who claimed his innocence. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also used this exchange to continue.To demand the release of the unjustly detained US citizen Paul Whelan‘, he said. Paul Whelan’s family was quick to welcome Trevor Reed’s release, saying:full of joyto his loved ones. But “Paul is still a hostageIn Russia, his brother David said in a statement. “Our parents are getting old. We still hope Paul comes home so they can see him again. But this hope is fading every day“, he added.
On the Russian side is the famous arms smuggler Victor Bout, who was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States. Prisoner exchanges between Moscow and the West were frequent until the end of the Cold War in 1991 and did not stop completely, especially since Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000. It is often about spies, as happened in 2010 when ten members of a Russian network were exchanged ( Illegal agents working with a false American ID) have been caught by the FBI in exchange for two Russians working for the CIA and British Services and a researcher.
see also War in Ukraine: Zelensky calls for prisoner exchange from Russia