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US wants access to American detained in Moscow

Published: Updated:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the US hopes to soon get access to an American detained in Russia on espionage charges.

Pompeo said at a news conference in Brazil that the US has “made clear to the Russians our expectation that we will learn more about the charges and come to understand what it is he’s been accused of.”

Paul Whelan was arrested in Moscow on Friday. The Russian Federal Security Service announced the arrest three days later and said Whelan was caught “during an espionage operation,” but it gave no details.

Whelan is a former Marine from Michigan. His brother says he was in Moscow to attend a wedding.

Pompeo says “if the detention is not appropriate we will demand his immediate return.”