The United States has sent a troubling message to our people and to others who live in democracies: We will negotiate and pay some type of ransom to hostage takers (“Kremlin poker-faced on US swap offer to free Griner, Whelan,” Web, July 28).

The cases of hostages Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, two Americans being unlawfully detailed in Russia, are deeply troubling. When Americans are imprisoned in such situations, it presents a monumental problem for our government, which is under heavy pressure to do something — anything — to get them back home safely.

I do not know what the Biden administration thinks it can gain by announcing that we have offered to trade a killer/convicted arms dealer for two of our citizens. However, it is likely to just encourage future hostage taking when Russia wishes to gain the release of bona fide criminals being held in the United States, or when it wish to compel us to step back from our military assistance to beleaguered Ukraine.


Peters Township, Pennsylvania

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