Russia’s foreign minister says he is open to discuss US hopes for a prisoner swap of American basketball star Brittney Griner and jailed American Paul Whelan in possible exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Russia’s Lavrov says he will discuss US prisoner swap offer
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he’s open to a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss a possible prisoner swap involving American basketball star Brittney Griner.
Blinken said on Wednesday that Washington had offered Russia a deal that would bring home Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan. A person familiar with the matter said the US government proposed trading convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Whelan and Griner.
Speaking on a visit to Uzbekistan on Friday, Lavrov said his ministry had received an official US request for a call after Blinken made the statement. Russia’s top diplomat said he would be ready once he returns to Moscow and that the timing of the call was being worked out.
Lavrov said he was open to discussing the prisoner exchange, even though the Foreign Ministry hasn’t been involved in previous discussions on the issue.