Middle East

Russia has ‘quiet’ diplomacy with US in prisoner exchange

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The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that if Washington complies, plans for a prisoner exchange involving basketball star Britney Griner should come to fruition.

Greiner, who had been prescribed medical cannabis to relieve pain from a chronic injury in the United States, was arrested at a Moscow airport on February 17 with vape cartridges containing hash oil in his luggage. (Reuters)

Russia’s foreign ministry said it was conducting “quiet diplomacy” with the United States over a potential prisoner exchange involving basketball star Britney Griner.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechayev said on Thursday, referring to the U.S. midterm elections, that “quiet diplomacy is underway and if Washington follows suit, it will fall short of the media hype to score points before the elections.” If it doesn’t fall, it should bear fruit.” November.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA star, was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges in Russia on Aug. 4, after ruling party President Joe Biden said: It is unacceptable,” he said.

The Kremlin has previously said that US officials are undermining efforts to secure a prisoner exchange by resorting to “megaphone diplomacy” on the matter.

read more: US basketball star Griner appeals Russian prison sentence

Washington’s offer

Washington has offered to trade Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan, sources familiar with the matter said.

Whelan, who holds US, UK, Canadian and Irish passports, was convicted of spying in 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in prison. he denied his charges.

Griner, who was prescribed medical cannabis to relieve pain from a chronic injury in the U.S., dropped vape cartridges containing hash oil in his luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17. Arrested for having.

Cannabis is illegal in Russia for both medical and recreational purposes.

Greiner, who pleaded guilty, said he made the honest mistake of accidentally stuffing an e-cigarette cartridge while rushing to catch a flight to Russia.

read more: Who can participate in the Russian-American prisoner exchange?

Source: Reuters

https://www.trtworld.com/europe/russia-engaging-in-quiet-diplomacy-with-us-on-prisoner-swap-59891?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Russia has ‘quiet’ diplomacy with US in prisoner exchange

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