Politics

Biden says ex-Marine Trevor Reed released from Russian custody

President Biden said Wednesday that Trevor Reed, a former Marine, has been released from Russian custody and returned to his family.

Mr. Biden signaled that talks with the Russians, who have been globally isolated over their invasion of Ukraine, involved thorny tradeoffs.

“The negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly,” he said. “His safe return is a testament to the priority my administration places on bringing home Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained abroad.”

Mr. Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison in July 2020 for endangering the “life and health” of Russian police officers in a fight, though Mr. Reed and his family have denied the charges.

Mr. Reed’s parents recently met with Mr. Biden to plead for their son’s release and describe medical problems he sustained while incarcerated.

“I heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how much they’ve worried about his health and missed his presence,” Mr. Biden said Wednesday. “And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom.”

Mr. Biden credited the work of Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, and John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, for securing Mr. Reed’s release.

He said other Americans must be released from Russian custody — including Paul Whelan, a Canada-born U.S. resident who was accused of spying.

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained since February after a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges with oil from cannabis, prompting fears she’s being used as a political hostage.

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