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#priyankachopra Biden offers to exchange a convicted Russian arms dealer for Brittney Griner’s release 1 Hour

Biden offers to exchange a convicted Russian arms dealer for Brittney Griner’s release

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Image credit: MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA-EFE / Evgenia Novozhenina / AP / Shutterstock

Chairperson Joe Biden is asking Russia to exchange one of them for the release of two Americans being held in the country, according to CNN. The Administration of the Commander-in-Chief has agreed to exchange Viktor Bouta convicted Russian arms dealer who served 25 years in a U.S. prison, for freeing a professional basketball player Brittney Griner31 years old and a US citizen Paul Whelan, 52, who is being held in the country on various charges, sources said. Brittney is arrested for drug-related offenses at Moscow airport in February and Paul was arrested for espionage in a Moscow hotel in December 2018.

The exchange offer has been discussed since the beginning of this year, the sources added CNN, and Biden’s support for the proposal overcame objections from the Justice Department, which has traditionally opposed the prisoner trade. Foreign Minister Antony Blink also announced on July 27 that the United States had presented an “important offer” to Moscow “several weeks ago” to Brittney and Paul, who were classified as falsely detained. Blinken spoke at a press conference at the State Department and explained the situation, to which he confirmed Biden was “directly involved”.

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner after being arrested. (Evgenia Novozhenina / AP / Shutterstock)

Although he did not confirm it was Viktor who was offered in the exchange, Blinken said that he “cannot and will not consider any details of what we have proposed to the Russians throughout. weeks” and “on the President’s side, of course he’s not just directly involved, he’s signing off on any of the proposals that we put forward, and certainly when it comes to Americans who are arbitrarily detained abroad, including in this particular case. “

Blinken went on to confirm that he plans to discuss a potential exchange with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week and said it would be the first time they spoke since Russia invaded Ukraine. “My hope is that by talking to Foreign Minister Lavrov, I can accelerate efforts to bring them home,” he said during the conference. “In my mind there is a utility in conveying clear, direct messages to the Russians about the priorities that are important to us. And as I mentioned, these include securing Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan’s return home.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden is said to have participated in an offer to exchange a convicted Russian for two Americans being held in Russia. (MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock)

In addition to Blinken, a senior administration official suggested that Moscow did not respond to “an important offer” it presented to them in June, CNN reported. “We started all the negotiations to put Americans who were held hostage or wrongly held with a bad guy on the other side,” the official explained. “We started all this with someone who took a human being as an American and treated them as a bargaining chip. So, in some ways, it’s not surprising, even if it’s disappointing, that those actors don’t necessarily respond to our requests directly, don’t engage constructively. into negotiations”.

News of the planned new offer comes after Brittney pleaded guilty to her crime, which saw her face a 10-year prison sentence, in early July. She testified in a Russian courtroom and said she had accidentally brought marijuana into Russia. It has been reported that her trial will have to end before any exchange deal between the Biden administration and Russia is finalized.

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