Joey, Trevor’s father, said on NBC’s “Today” program, Monday, that the family doesn’t care “how he gets home, if they want to exchange Trevor for some low-level criminals or something.”
Paola, the prisoner’s mother, added that she agreed, and pleaded, “We want our son at home.”
Reed is serving a 9-year prison sentence for beating a Russian police officer in 2019, a charge that the US ambassador to Russia described as “flaw”, while the accused and his family denied the charges against him.
Trevor Reid was diagnosed with the coronavirus last month, and his family is struggling to get more information about his condition.
But the brother of another former US Marine who was also detained in Russia and sentenced last year to 16 years in prison, Paul Whelan, showed mixed feelings about the idea of a prisoner exchange between the two countries.
Whelan’s brother said on the “Today” program, Monday, that his brother is innocent and “has been wrongly accused. We’d rather see the door open for him to come out than negotiate the release of Russian convicts.”
Paul Whelan, accused of espionage, was arrested at the end of 2018, and his brother said he was in Russia for a wedding.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Whelan and Reed’s illegal detention “must end” and that a prisoner exchange would be on the table when Biden and Putin meet at the upcoming summit in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
And Putin had said in an interview with “NBC News”, Friday, days before his meeting with Biden, that he was open to an exchange of prisoners, and stated that the number of Russian detainees in the United States “is not comparable to the number of American prisoners in Russia.”
When asked about the prisoners, Putin said Reid was a “riot” and “drunk”.
Joy criticized his son’s trial in Russia, saying that “the judge ignored witnesses and video evidence, and sentenced him to the longest sentence in modern Russian history.”
But he expressed his great pleasure, “to hear that Putin is open to an exchange of prisoners, and we hope that this will happen very soon because Trevor and Paul Whelan have spent a long time, considering that they are innocent of the charges against them.”
Reed the father was optimistic about his son’s release, saying that “of all the major issues between our two countries, this prisoner exchange is perhaps the easiest.”