Washington would possibly take into account a swap deal involving Russian nationals arrested in third nations, the Wall Road Journal claims
The US is able to take an unorthodox method to securing the discharge of Wall Road Journal (WSJ) journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia, because it struggles to seek out appropriate candidates for a prisoner swap, the paper reported on Saturday.
Washington at the moment has no Russian “spies” in its custody, the WSJ defined, and as Gershkovich is accused of espionage, Moscow would possibly take into account a swap with some other prisoners to be inconsistently matched.
A senior White Home official informed the WSJ that Washington was “open to inventive options” to safe the handover of Gershkovich, together with Paul Whelan, a former US marine convicted of espionage in Russia in 2020.
“Inside that which is legally out there, we’re continuously seeking to see what is perhaps related or what is perhaps helpful,” the official mentioned. Based on the WSJ, Moscow beforehand informed Washington it might solely alternate Whelan for a Russian particular person accused of an identical offense overseas. Russia had reportedly beforehand supplied to alternate him for Vadim Krasikov, a person sentenced to life in jail in Germany for homicide. On the time, Washington thought of a deal involving a 3rd nation not possible, however has allegedly shifted its place.
The WSJ singled out two alleged Russian spies arrested in Slovenia in December, together with Sergey Cherkasov, a Russian man sentenced to fifteen years in jail in Brazil for identification fraud, as potential alternate candidates. Cherkasov was additionally accused by the Brazilian authorities of being a Russian agent, and Moscow has requested that Brazil extradite him Russia. The US has allegedly additionally indicated it may search his extradition, the WSJ claimed.
The paper additionally named Marat Kasem, a Russian media editor accused of espionage and dodging sanctions in Latvia, as a possible “match” for a profitable swap deal. The WSJ didn’t elaborate on how the US may probably safe an settlement involving any of those nations, nevertheless. It solely mentioned there have been “no indicators” that it might be a straightforward factor to do.
Probably the most high-profile Russians remaining behind bars within the US have been all accused of cybercrimes, the WSJ mentioned.
Considered one of them is Roman Seleznev, a Russian lawmaker’s son convicted in 2016 of hacking a whole lot of companies and promoting stolen information on-line in a scheme that resulted in additional than $169 million in fraud losses. The person is due for launch solely in 2036. Based on his lawyer, Igor Litvak, Moscow considers Seleznev to be wrongfully detained, and would wish to get him again “actually dangerous.”
Different choices embody Vladislav Klyushin and Aleksandr Vinnik. Klyushin is a Russian extradited to the US from Switzerland in 2021 and accused of acquiring $90 million by securities trades based mostly on info stolen from US pc networks. Vinnik was detained in 2017, first in Greece after which in France, earlier than being extradited to the US on costs of working a bootleg cryptocurrency alternate.
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