The planned trip to Moscow on behalf of the families of the hostages and prisoners of war by the former New Mexico governor and diplomat came as the US government stepped up its efforts to free the two Americans and pressured them to return home.
Both Whelan and Griner were arbitrarily detained by the US government, and both families worked at the nonprofit Richardson Center.
Mickey Bergman, director of the Richardson Center, told CNN: “We are not currently able to comment on this.
“We believe that any prisoner in this situation should do what he can to help them survive,” Richardson told CNN on Thursday following Grenner’s appeal.
Richardson said he was “fighting for her life” and was working hard to secure a safe return from Greenland and Welan, but declined to give further details because of “further efforts.”
Whelan, a former naval officer, was arrested in December 2018 on suspicion of espionage. A.D. In June 2020, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison by U.S. officials for alleged misconduct.
Richardson has been working for a long time to secure the release of Americans detained abroad, and in April he was instrumental in securing the release of Trevor Reed from Russia.
Biden’s administration has repeatedly said that the release of Greener and Willin and the work to secure the release of Americans detained abroad are a priority.
CNN’s Chak Johnston, Anna Chernova, Abby Philip, Dakin Andone and Ala Elasar contributed to this report.