The Russian deputy foreign minister avoids any suggestion that an American suspected of espionage and detained in Moscow could be exchanged with Russia.
Paul Whelan, was arrested at the end of December. Whelan is also a Canadian, British and Irish citizen. His arrest has speculated that Russia could use it as a pawn to share the Russian Maria Butina, who last month admitted to being a foreign worker in the United States.
Saturday that the debate on this issue would be premature because Whelan was not formally charged, according to Russian news agencies. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.
Russian reports had cited unnamed sources that Whelan was sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted.