“If this becomes long and drawn out, and they take over Ukraine, then the Western countries and the United States are going to be at odds with Russia for a long time,” said Reed’s father, Joey Reed. “That could lead to additional charges against our son, if he lives, and keep him there indefinitely, which is not uncommon in Russia.”

The already challenging path to bringing home Americans jailed in Russia and Ukraine is likely even more complicated now with a war overwhelming the region and increasingly hostile relations between the United States and the Kremlin, AP reports.

Marine veteran Trevor Reed and corporate security executive Paul Whelan are each serving lengthy prison sentences in Russia, but their families have long held out hope for some sort of deal — including a possible prisoner exchange — that could get their loved ones home.

Now, though, that seems a much harder ask.

“I can’t help but think that this is not going to help Trevor get released sooner, obviously,” Reed’s mother, Paula Reed, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The war with Ukraine has not only occupied global attention, but it has also led to punishing economic sanctions by the U.S. and escalating Russian aggression in the face of international condemnation over its invasion. Though the conflict has not closed off avenues for bringing home Reed and Whelan, the prospect of concessions by either side anytime soon is eclipsed by the likelihood of continued antagonism by Russia.

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