The US yesterday thanked Turkiye for its role in the release of a former Marine who had been held in Russia for three years.
Trevor Reed, an American citizen, was exchanged for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko at an airport in Turkiye.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is “very grateful to Turkey for allowing the exchange to take place in their country.”
As we welcome home Trevor Reed, we are grateful to Turkey for its role in making his safe return possible. We appreciate our Turkish partners’ assistance on this important matter.
— Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) April 27, 2022
Reed, from Texas, was expected to arrive back in the United States last night, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. Senior US officials said the 30-year-old was in “good spirits.”
In a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin also thanked Ankara for coordinating and supervising the prisoner swap, while Erdogan said the move underscored Turkiye’s efforts towards peace and dialogue.
Reed was convicted in Russia in 2019 of endangering the lives of two police officers while drunk on a visit to Moscow. The United States called his trial a “theater of the absurd.” he was handed a nine-year term.
US officials said Biden commuted the sentence of Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot who was arrested by American special forces in Liberia in 2010 and convicted for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States. Russia had proposed a prisoner swap for Yaroshenko in July 2019 in exchange for the release of any American.