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FIRST ON FOX: President Biden must use his leverage to secure the release of U.S. “hostages” in Russia amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a national security expert running for Congress told Fox News.
“President Biden has yet to address the hostages held by Russia. After leaving thousands behind following debacle in Afghanistan, he owes them and the American people his unequivocal commitment to securing their freedom,” Jason Killmeyer, a national security expert and Republican running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, told Fox News Digital.
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“The American people were left aghast by President Biden’s disregard for the thousands of Americans he left behind in Afghanistan, as even one American left behind is too many,” Killmeyer, who spent four years at Deloitte, much of that time advising a federal agency on supply-chain risk management, added in a press release first sent to Fox News Digital.
“Right now, two Americans are wrongfully detained in Russia. As the United States continues to engage Russia diplomatically and economically in hopes of securing a peaceful resolution to this unjustified invasion, we must make clear that Russia will release these two prisoners or continue to suffer economic sanctions.”
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The candidate’s press release pointed to Paul Whelan, a former Marine, and Trevor Reed, who were detained in Russia in 2020 on charges that U.S. officials have deemed illegitimate. Biden mentioned their cases in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July 2021. Russian authorities detained WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner in February. Griner faces up to 10 years in prison after customs officers found “vapes” containing hashish oil in her luggage, reports say.
Killmeyer praised former President Donald Trump, who secured the release of notable hostages such as Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey.
“Unlike President Trump, President Biden continues failing to prioritize American hostages and the high number of wrongfully detained Americans around the world,” Killmeyer added.
He also called on Biden to combat Russia in the energy sector.
“In the meantime, President Biden must establish leverage over Russia reversing his misguided restrictions on oil and gas production, and finally sanctioning oil and gas produced in Russia,” Killmeyer said. “If President Biden is unwilling to even buck the yoke of left-wing climate alarmists, then I fail to see why Russia would ever begin taking him seriously.”
The European Union is reportedly considering energy sanctions against Russia following the Russian attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on Friday.
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While White House Press Secretary Jen Paski has said that energy sanctions remain on the table, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that “there’s no strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy.”
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-must-address-u-s-hostages-in-russia-amid-ukraine-war-national-security-expert-says