Whelan’s brother sees ‘a little bit of hope’ after prisoner swap offer

The brother of the former U.S. Marine held in Russia for the last three years said the family has “a little bit of hope” following talks of a U.S.-Russia prisoner swap.

The swap would reportedly trade a Russian arms trafficker for detained U.S. citizens Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, though the State Department hasn’t shared details. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to discuss the matter with Russia soon.

“The offer that the U.S. government has made — and extraordinarily made public — is super,” said Whelan’s twin brother, David Whelan, on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” Thursday.

“Hopefully the Russian government will take the concessions that have been made and allow Paul to come home.”

Whelan has been held in Russia since December 2018, arrested on spying charges and sentenced to 16 years behind bars. 

WNBA star Griner is the other prisoner included in the Biden administration’s talks — who pled guilty to bringing hashish oil vape cartridges into the country and has been held for the last five months.

President Biden and the State Department have been under pressure from Griner and Whelan’s families to bring the U.S. citizens home.

The U.S. made a similar prisoner swap in April for former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed, who had been detained in Russia since 2019.