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Biden speaks to sister of US executive detained in Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden spoke by phone Friday with the sister of Paul Whelan, an American who has been imprisoned in Russia for more than three years, according to the White House.

Biden’s phone call to Elizabeth Whelan came after Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris s poke earlier this week to the wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been held for more than four months in Russia. Griner pleaded guilty this week to drug charges. Biden also wrote a letter to Griner that was delivered to her when she appeared in a Russian court Thursday.

Elizabeth Whelan criticized the White House earlier this week, arguing the administration was not giving her brother’s case the same level of attention as Griner’s detention.

The White House said in a statement that Biden, in Friday’s call, “reaffirmed that he is committed to bringing Paul home as soon as possible, and the U.S. government will…

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