US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said his country would “finish” Moscow’s latest proposal for a prisoner exchange between the two countries at the presidential level.
“Foreign Minister (Sergey) Lavrov said this morning that they are ready to start a prisoner exchange involving American basketball player Greiner,” Blinken said during a meeting in Cambodia. “We will monitor this,” he added.
Blinken’s statements followed those of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in which he expressed Russia’s readiness to discuss the issue of a prisoner exchange with the United States, but through a channel agreed between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.
Earlier, Lavrov called on his American counterpart Anthony Blinken to engage in “quiet diplomacy” rather than public discussions.
Russia recently sentenced Britney Grainer, one of the world’s most famous basketball players, to nine years in prison. After she was detained last February at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, cannabis oil was found in her bag.
US citizen Paul Whelan is also serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia for espionage.
According to US media reports, Washington is offering Moscow to exchange two of its citizens for Viktor Bout, a Russian citizen convicted in the United States for illegal arms trafficking.