Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that Moscow would soon suggest a time for a phone discussion with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has stated that he wants to negotiate the exchange of inmates imprisoned in Russian and American jails.
Blinken claimed on Wednesday that the United States has made a “significant offer” to free American basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan, who are both incarcerated in Russia.
According to a source, as part of such a deal, Washington would be prepared to trade convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, who is now imprisoned in the United States.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Blinken and Lavrov have not talked. Families of US inmates have been putting pressure on President Joe Biden, most notably in the instance of two-time Olympic gold medalist Griner, who was detained on drug allegations at a Moscow airport on February 17.