The White House continues to maintain contact with the Kremlin as it tries to get Paul Whelan, who is being held in Russia, released.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said that the US is currently engaged in discussions with Russia about the release of Paul.
According to CNN, the White House held a virtual meeting with Paul's sister Elizabeth on Monday to discuss the next steps in the effort to bring him home.
Jake Sullivan, the White House's national security adviser, said on Monday that the US is preparing to speak with the Russians about the case of Paul.
"At a briefing, Sullivan refused to provide further details about the case. However, he noted that the US is working to keep it in a sensitive channel. He said that the next step would be a high-level meeting with the Russians."
According to Elizabeth, the 45-minute meeting provided her with an opportunity to discuss her brother's case with the officials of the National Security Council and State Department.
"I am encouraged by their energy" she reportedly said.
The State Department did not provide further details regarding the meeting. However, CNN was able to confirm that it took place.
Sullivan noted that the meetings with the family were "substantive."
"According to CNN, Sullivan said that the family had provided the US with various suggestions regarding the possible release of Paul. He also noted that the US was working on finding a way to secure his freedom."
In December 2018, Paul was arrested in Moscow. He was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for his crime. The White House was not able to secure his release due to the actions of Russia.