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U.S. demands immediate return of ex-Marine detained in Russia on spy charges: Pompeo

Published: January 2, 2019
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Source: Reuters

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The United States is demanding the immediate return of a retired U.S. Marine detained by Russia on spying charges, and wants an explanation on why he was arrested, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

Speaking in Brasilia the day after Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated, Pompeo said the U.S. government hoped to gain consular access to Paul Whelan within the next few hours following his arrest in Moscow.

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An American citizen was apprehended during a “spying action” in Moscow, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said. He is currently being detained on suspicion of espionage.FSB agents detained a US national named Paul Whelan on Friday during “a spying action,” the agency’s press office told TASS.Criminal proceedings were launched against the man under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code, which covers the crime of espionage.

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