Russia ‘ready’ to discuss prisoner swap, involving basketball player Brittney Griner

“We are ready to discuss this subject, but only within the framework of the channel (of communication) which was agreed by the presidents (Vladimir) Putin and (Joe) Biden”, indicated Mr. Lavrov, during a conference press from Cambodia.

“There is a special channel, which is agreed by the presidents, and despite some public statements, this channel retains all its relevance,” he continued.

“If the Americans still decide to engage in public diplomacy and make resounding statements (…) it is their business, and even their problem,” added Mr. Lavrov, assuring that Washington “cannot” work “calmly and professionally” on many subjects.

A Russian court on Thursday sentenced American women’s basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison for drug trafficking, a heavy sentence that opens the way for a possible prisoner exchange between Moscow and Washington.

Last week, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken and his counterpart Sergei Lavrov had their first discussions since the start of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.

Blinken said he pressed his counterpart to accept Washington’s ‘substantial offer’ to Moscow to secure the release of Griner and another American detained in Russia, Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year prison sentence for espionage.

According to several American media, it would be a question of exchanging a famous Russian arms trafficker detained in the United States, Viktor Bout, against Brittney Griner and Mr. Whelan.

Leave a Comment