Sergey Lavrov: We’re ‘ready to discuss’ prisoner swap with the US

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signaled on Friday that Russia desires to barter a prisoner swap with the U.S.

The comment comes sooner or later after a Russian courtroom sentenced American skilled basketball participant Brittney Griner to 9 years in jail on costs of drug-smuggling for carrying hashish oil, a sentencing that U.S. President Joe Biden known as “unacceptable.”

During a go to Friday to Cambodia, Lavrov mentioned “we are ready to discuss this topic.” He added that prisoner-swap talks ought to occur inside a particular diplomatic channel that he mentioned was beforehand agreed on by Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden said on Thursday that he’ll work “tirelessly” to deliver house each Griner and Paul Whelan, a former marine who was beforehand sentenced to 16 years in Russian jail for spying.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Griner and Whelan have been “wrongfully detained,” and has called the return of the U.S. residents a prime precedence. Blinken spoke to Lavrov last week in an effort to press for his or her launch.

The White House has mentioned it’s made a “substantial offer,” which CNN reported features a prolific Russian arms vendor serving a 25-year jail time period within the U.S., but in addition Russian Vadim Krasikov, who’s sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany for a contract killing in a Berlin park.

During a White House press briefing on Thursday, a spokesman mentioned Moscow “should have accepted it weeks ago when we first made it,” with out elaborating on the main points of the potential prisoner swap provide.

Griner has been in Russian custody for greater than 5 months, after she was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, when safety forces discovered hashish oil in her baggage. Griner pleaded responsible, however her lawyer mentioned that the oil had been prescribed to the athlete by her physician as a painkiller. Griner’s protection plans to problem the courtroom choice.

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