The White House expressed optimism about statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the possibility of a prisoner exchange between Russia and the United States, calling it “good news.”
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “Lavrov said they are interested in exploring the possibility of further steps in this direction, and this is good news.”
He continued, “We hope they’re taking a serious stand this time around and that we can find opportunities to move forward with Britney’s return,” referring to basketball player Britney Grainer, who was sentenced to 9 years. years in prison in Russia for drug smuggling.
Kirby declined to disclose the details of a possible prisoner exchange deal, and also did not confirm that there was talk of the possibility of exchanging Greiner and another American, Paul Whelan, who is in Russia, for Russian Viktor Bout.
In turn, White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre stressed that the exchange of prisoners with Russia remains among the priorities of President Joe Biden and his assistants in the field of US national security.
She added that Washington had made a “substantial offer” to Russia to bring Greiner and Whelan back to the US.
She insisted that Washington prefers to discuss the potential deal in private.
Earlier Friday, Lavrov said Russia was ready to discuss a prisoner exchange with the United States, but only through a channel agreed upon by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.