President Biden today met with Elizabeth Whelan and Cherelle Griner, relatives of two US citizens wrongfully detained in Russia under intolerable circumstances. Elizabeth Whelan, sister of Paul Whelan, and Cherelle Griner, wife of Brittney Griner, met separately with the President in the Oval Office.

The president held the meetings to reiterate his continued commitment to work through all available avenues to bring Brittney and Paul home safely. He inquired about the well-being of Elizabeth and Cherelle and their respective families during this painful time. The president appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Brittney and Paul from those who love them most, and acknowledged that every minute they are detained is a minute too long.

Today’s meetings come after earlier meetings and conversations the president, his national security team and the State Department have had with the Whelan and Griner families to update them on efforts to secure the release. of their loved ones as soon as possible. We all admire the courage of the Whelan and Griner families in the face of these unimaginable circumstances, and we remain committed to reuniting them with their loved ones.