Russia’s Lavrov says Moscow offers prisoners time to call Blinken

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attended a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ Council on July 29, 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. (Distribution via Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Reuters)

Tashkent-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that Moscow would soon propose a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken said he would like to discuss the exchange of prisoners in prisons in Russia and the United States.

Blinken said on Wednesday that Washington had made a “substantial offer” to get the release of US basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.

Blinken and Lavrov have not spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The families of US detainees are putting pressure on President Joe Biden. Moscow Airport on February 17th.

Court hearing of US basketball player Brittney Griner in Khimki
U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, before a court hearing in Khimki, a suburb of Moscow, on July 26, 2022. I was escorted. (Evgenia Novozenina / Pool / Reuters)

Lavrov has been discussing the exchange of prisoners at a press conference since last year’s summit in Geneva, where President Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden agreed to appoint officials to investigate the matter. He said he was.

He said his ministry was not involved in it, but “nevertheless, I hear what he (Blinken) has to say.”

Lavrov spoke during his trip to Uzbekistan and said he would talk to Blinken when he returned to his office.

“It’s clear that this is unlikely to work today, but in the next few days we will provide a convenient date for our American colleagues,” he said.