Russia Signals That Griner Could Be Released, But U.S. Skeptical

Russia Signals That Griner Could Be Released, But U.S. Skeptical
High Times

A top official in Russia suggested last week that the American basketball star Brittney Griner’s detention could be approaching a resolution, but officials in the United States quickly dismissed those claims. Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said on Friday that there was fresh “activity” surrounding a potential prisoner swap involving Griner, who was transferred to a Russian penal colony earlier this month, and Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States. Ryabkov’s comments were quoted in Russian media. “We haven’t found common ground yet, but, undoubtedly, Viktor Bout is among those being discussed and obviously we are hoping for a positive result,” Ryabkov said, as reported on by ESPN. “The Americans are showing certain activity and we are working on this through appropriate channels.” But the State Department splashed cold water on that, saying that Russia has not been a serious party to the negotiations.  “We are not going to comment on the specifics of any proposals other than to say that we have made a substantial offer that the Russian Federation has consistently failed to negotiate in good faith,” a State Department spokesperson said, as quoted by ESPN. “The U.S. Government has continued to follow up on that offer and propose alternative potential ways forward with the Russian government. The Russian government’s failure to seriously negotiate on these issues in the established channel, or any other channel for that matter runs counter to its public statements.” The U.S. has proposed a prisoner swap with Russia that would secure the release of both Griner and Paul Whelan, a United States citizen who has been held in Russia since 2018 on espionage charges, in exchange for Bout. But so far, a deal has yet to materialize.  Griner, a star for the Phoenix…

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Source : Russia Signals That Griner Could Be Released, But U.S. Skeptical

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