US offers Russia ‘substantial’ deal for release of Griner, Whelan

by | Jul 27, 2022 | World

Reports indicate that such an exchange could free Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner in exchange for Russian arms dealer.The United States has put a “substantial proposal on the table” to facilitate the release of US citizens Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, both held by Russia in what the US has termed “wrongful detention”, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said.
Blinken said on Wednesday that he expects to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the coming days to discuss a “top priority” for the US: the release of Griner, a basketball star; and Whelan, a former marine.
“We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal, and I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, to move us towards a resolution,” Blinken told reporters.
“My hope would be that in speaking to Foreign Minister Lavrov, I can advance the efforts to bring them home,” Blinken said.
“We of course want to see those who are wrongfully detained be released and be able to return home. At the same time, it’s important that we be able to enforce the global norm against these arbitrary detentions.”
According to a CNN report, the US has offered Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death” who was given a 25-year prison sentence by the US in 2012, in exchange for the release of Whelan and Griner.
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The potential deal is the latest development in an ongoing US …

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