U.S. President Joe Biden Meets Parents of American Jailed for Years in Russia

United States President Joe Biden on March 30 met with the parents of Trevor Reed, a U.S. Marine veteran who has been imprisoned in Russia since 2019.

Biden met with Joey and Paula Reed, who had traveled from Gransbury, Texas to Washington D.C. to seek an in-person meeting with the president after speaking with him on the phone earlier this month.

“During their meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to continue to work to secure the release of Trevor, Paul Whelan, and other Americans wrongfully held in Russia and elsewhere,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Russian authorities jailed Trevor, 30, after he allegedly assaulted two police officers in Moscow following a night of heavy drinking at a party.

Russian authorities convicted Trevor in 2020 and sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Trevor is on the third day of his second hunger strike, according to Franks.

Whelan, who is also a former U.S. Marine, was imprisoned in Russia on espionage-related charges that his family says were false.

Biden and the Reeds held the meeting for over half an hour in the Oval Office with other administration officials, according to Jonathan Franks, a spokesperson for the Reeds.

Franks called the meeting “a huge step forward, but nothing is good enough until Trevor comes home.”

Psaki said that Biden’s national security team will remain in contact with the Reeds, the Whelan family, and other American families whose members are held abroad.

The meeting came as the U.S. State Department issued a new advisory, warning Americans not to travel to Russia or Ukraine due to “potential harassment… by Russian government security officials… including for detention” amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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