Moscow/Washington: Washington is open to creative solutions to reach a deal with Moscow in exchange for former Marine Paul Whelan and American journalist Evan Gershkovich, both charged with espionage in Russia, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing a senior White House official.
“Within that which is legally available, we are constantly looking to see what might be relevant or what might be useful,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The report said that the deal required the United States to select those Russian prisoners who were valuable enough to Moscow to demand and at the same time acceptable for Washington to release, adding that the swap was unlikely to be easily agreed with the participation of a third party as Gershkovich’s detention had drawn significant attention.
Last week, Gershkovich, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, was detained in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on suspicion of espionage for the United States. The Wall Street Journal has denied the allegations and demanded Gershkovich’s immediate release.
Whelan — a citizen of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland — is serving a 16-year sentence in Russia on espionage charges.