US, Russia transfer towards Brittney Griner swap talks after Lavrov says Kremlin ‘prepared’

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America will “pursue” a prisoner swap with Russia for U.S. residents Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in Cambodia Friday morning.

Blinken’s remark got here as he was requested about remarks Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made relating to a possible prisoner swap on the international ministers assembly on the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

“We put ahead, as you already know, a considerable proposal that Russia ought to interact with us on. And what Overseas Minister Lavrov stated this morning and stated publicly is that they’re ready to have interaction by way of channels we have established to do exactly that, and we’ll be pursuing,” Blinken stated throughout a press convention at ASEAN.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken takes part in a press conference after attending events at the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022. 

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken takes half in a press convention after attending occasions on the fifty fifth ASEAN Overseas Ministers’ Assembly in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022.  (TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

The announcement comes a day after WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced by a Russian courtroom to 9 years in jail for marijuana possession.

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Blinken was requested to reply to Lavrov, who stated he was not anticipating to listen to from Blinken however was stunned when Blinken didn’t attain out.

“With regard to Brittney Griner and to Paul Whelan, just a few issues on that. I believe first we have all seen the sentencing conviction of Brittney Griner to nine years in prison and that additional compounds the injustice that is being completed to her and her wrongful detention,” Blinken stated.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (C) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) attend the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers meeting during the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022. 

Russia’s Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov (C) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) attend the East Asia Summit Overseas Ministers assembly through the fifty fifth ASEAN Overseas Ministers’ Assembly in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022.  (ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

He added: “It places a highlight on our very vital concern with Russia’s authorized system and the Russian authorities’s use of wrongful detentions to advance its personal agenda, utilizing people as political pawns. The identical goes for Paul Whelan.” 

BRITTNEY GRINER PLEADS GUILTY IN RUSSIA, BUT EXPERTS WARN NEXT STEPS MAY HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES

Earlier within the day, Lavrov stated Russia was “prepared to debate” a commerce of prisoners by way of diplomatic channels as a personal framework was beforehand “agreed upon by” Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Biden.

Lavrov stated Russia is “prepared to debate this matter, however throughout the framework of the channel that has been agreed by the presidents.”

“If the Individuals determine to as soon as once more resort to public diplomacy… that’s their enterprise and I might even say that it’s their downside,” Lavrov stated at ASEAN.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, June 6, 2022.

Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks throughout a information convention in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, June 6, 2022. (Russian Overseas Ministry Press Service by way of AP)

“On the matter of individuals who’re convicted in Russia and in america… there’s a specified channel that has been agreed upon by the presidents,” Lavrov added through the press convention. “It doesn’t matter what anybody says publicly, this channel will stay in impact.”

Russia beforehand warned the U.S. to not interact in “megaphone diplomacy” as it will derail ongoing negotiations. 

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken looks on at the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers meeting during the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken appears on on the East Asia Summit Overseas Ministers assembly through the fifty fifth ASEAN Overseas Ministers’ Assembly in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022. (TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

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President Biden issued an announcement denouncing Griner’s detention and referred to as the prison sentence “unacceptable.” 

“I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she could be together with her spouse, family members, associates, and teammates,” President Biden stated. “My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each doable avenue to carry [her] residence safely as quickly as doable.”

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