The United States and Russia introduced on Wednesday a prisoner swap that has freed Trevor R. Reed, a former Marine who was convicted on prices that his household mentioned had been bogus, an surprising diplomatic breakthrough with tensions operating excessive over the Ukraine conflict.
Mr. Reed, who was initially detained in August 2019, was launched in change for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot sentenced to a prolonged time period in the United States on cocaine-trafficking prices.
“Trevor, a former U.S. Marine, is free from Russian detention,” President Biden mentioned in a press release. “I heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how much they’ve worried about his health and missed his presence. And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom.”
The settlement was the results of “lengthy negotiations,” in keeping with Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Mr. Reed’s household confirmed his launch in a press release, saying that they might now consider “the myriad of health issues brought on by the squalid conditions he was subjected to in his Russian gulag.”
A local of Texas, Mr. Reed traveled to Russia in May 2019 to go to his Russian girlfriend, whom he had met on a relationship web site, and to take language classes. One week earlier than his deliberate return to the United States, Mr. Reed went to a celebration at a park outdoors Moscow, the place he drank in depth quantities of vodka.
Mr. Reed then obtained agitated, prompting his girlfriend and associates to name the police. Officers who arrived on the scene determined to take him to a police station, the place Mr. Reed was interviewed by Russian safety brokers. Shortly after, he was accused of assaulting and endangering the lives of the 2 law enforcement officials who had pushed him there.
After spending greater than 11 months in a Russian jail, Mr. Reed was sentenced to 9 years in jail, the primary time that such a extreme punishment had been utilized for that sort of crime, his legal professionals mentioned. At one level throughout a listening to, Mr. Reed mentioned that the case in opposition to him was political and linked his troubles in Russia to his navy affiliation.
In his assertion, Mr. Biden mentioned, “The negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly,” although no further particulars had been instantly obtainable.
Other Americans stay in detention in Russia, together with Paul Whelan, who was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in jail on espionage prices throughout a trial that was closed to the general public; and Brittney Griner, a basketball star who was arrested in mid-February on drug prices that might carry a sentence of as much as 10 years.