>> The former US Marine that's been charged in Russia on espionage allegations is being held in solitary confinement at the notorious Lefortovo detention facility. And now there are rumblings that Paul Whelan, who has American and British citizenship, may be used by Russia as a bargaining chip. Reuters Christian Lowe in Moscow.
>> Since Whelan's detention there has been some talk that, potentially, there could be some kind of swap in the offering. Whelan could be exchanged for Maria Buttina, that's a Russian who is being detained in the United States. She admitted in a US court that she was working as an agent for Moscow trying to influence and infiltrate American conservative groups.
That possibility of a swap has been raised by, among other people, a former CIA Station Chief in Moscow.>> Whelan’s arrest last month has prompted calls from western powers for answers. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is one of them.>> We need to see what these charges are against him, understand whether there is a case or not.
We are giving every support that we can, but we don't agree with individuals being used in a diplomatic chess games.>> We've made clear to the Russians our expectation.>> On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US will demand Whelan's immediate return if it determines his detention is inappropriate.
Whelan's family say he's innocent, that he was in Russia attending the wedding of a friend from the Marine Corps. Whelan's arrest brings to an end an informal truce. Where Russia had publicly agreed not to aggressively chase US counterintelligence activities over the past two years.