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Russian Lavrov proposes time to call on Blinken’s prisoners | News

The United States has said it has made a “substantial offer” to secure the release of Russian basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would soon propose a time to call US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said he would like to discuss the exchange of prisoners in prisons between Russia and the United States.

Blinken said Wednesday in WashingtonSubstantial offerBoth were detained in Russia for the release of US basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.

Washington is ready to replace Victor Bout, a convicted arms trafficker imprisoned in the United States, as part of such a deal, according to sources quoted by Reuters.

Blinken and Biden have not spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The families of US detainees have recently put pressure on President Joe Biden. Two Olympic gold medalist GreenerWas arrested on February 17 at Moscow Airport on suspicion of drugs.

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner is escorted before a court hearing in Khimki, a suburb of Moscow, Russia [File: Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]

Lavrov said at a press conference after the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) ministerial meeting in Tashkent that discussions on the exchange of prisoners have been taking place since the summit meeting in Geneva last year. Investigate the problem.

He said his ministry was not involved in it, but “nevertheless, I listen to him [Blinken] I have to say. ” Lavrov said he would talk to Blinken when he returned to his office.

“It’s clear that this is unlikely to work today, but in the next few days we will provide a convenient date for our American colleagues,” he said.

Lavrov said his ministry was not responsible for questions about prisoner exchange, adding that “but I still listen to him.”

From his point of view, the Russian Foreign Minister said he would like to hear how the United States intended to fulfill its obligations on conducting grain transactions under the auspices of the United Nations.

“Because if it’s about Russian grains, U.S. sanctionsIn particular, we do not allow the full scope of the contract, “says Lavrov. He mentioned the embargo on Russian ships, along with cargo insurance and funding restrictions.

Russia has linked the permission to ship Ukrainian grain to the relaxation of western sanctions to promote its grain and fertilizer exports.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/29/lavrov-confirms-call-request-from-blinken-regarding-prisoner-swap Russian Lavrov proposes time to call on Blinken’s prisoners | News

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