The BorgWarner employee who has been detained in Russia since 2018 says he thinks progress is being made toward his release.
"I remain positive and confident on a daily basis that the wheels are turning," Whelan said in a phone call to CNN last week from his prison camp. "I just wish they would turn a little bit more quickly."
Whelan, a U.S. Marine who was BorgWarner's security director, was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in prison on spying charges that he has denied. He was arrested in December 2018 while attending a wedding in Moscow after receiving a flash drive with government secrets that he says he thought contained holiday pictures.
He told CNN that he is more confident in the U.S. government's efforts to bring him home than he was last December, when Russia released WNBA player Brittney Griner.