Lavrov: Moscow will offer time to talk with Blinken about prisoner exchange

Lavrov: Moscow will offer time to talk with Blinken about prisoner exchange

Lavrov: Moscow will offer time to talk with Blinken about prisoner exchange

Anthony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov at the OSCE meeting in Stockholm, December 2, 2021   Lavrov: Moscow will offer time to talk with Blinken about prisoner exchange Anthony Blinken, during which a prisoner exchange between Russia and the United States will be discussed.

On Wednesday, Blinken said that Washington had made a “substantial offer” to the Kremlin in an attempt to secure the release of American basketball player Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan, detained in Russia.

A Reuters source said that Washington is ready to exchange convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, convicted in the United States, as part of this deal.

Blinken and Lavrov have not spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Lavrov told a press conference that negotiations on the prisoner exchange began after last year's summit in Geneva, at which Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden agreed to nominate officials to look into the matter.

He said that the Russian Foreign Ministry was not involved in the process, but “still, I will listen to what he (Blinken ) will say,” Lavrov said.

Speaking during a trip to Uzbekistan, Lavrov said that he would talk to Blinken after returning to Moscow.

“It is clear that this is unlikely to work out today. But in the coming days, we will offer our American colleagues a convenient date,” he said.