Russia ready to discuss prisoner swap after Griner jail sentence
Russia said Friday it was ready to discuss a prisoner swap with the U.S., just a day after Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges.
Russia said Friday it was ready to discuss a prisoner swap with the United States, a day after WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court for a drug offense.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was “ready to discuss this topic,” but only within the framework of a diplomatic channel that he said had been previously agreed upon by President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There is a special channel that has been agreed upon by the presidents, and no matter what anyone says publicly, this channel remains relevant,” he said at a news conference at a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.
Biden said Thursday his administration would continue to "work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue" to bring Griner and Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence for espionage, back home.
Biden calls Griner sentencing ‘unacceptable,’ White House hopeful on potential prisoner swapAug. 4, 202204:09The U.S. has proposed that Moscow release the pair in exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to two sources familiar with the matter. But Russia has shown no sign of accepting the offer, and has decried Washington's decision to publicize it in an effort to step up the pressure for a deal.