News “American and Russian intelligence are discussing the exchange of prisoners.” News headlines and events Last Minute Russia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that negotiations with Washington on a possible exchange of prisoners are ongoing at the level of intelligence agencies and that he hopes that the negotiations will be crowned with success.
Elizabeth Rude, US Chargé d’Affaires ai in Moscow, told the Russian state news agency RIA on Monday that exchange talks between US basketball player Britney Greener and former serviceman Paul Whelan were ongoing through certain channels.
However, Rud added that Moscow had not given a serious response to Washington’s proposals.
Basketball star Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison for finding hemp oil in an e-cigarette cartridge in his suitcase during airport raids in February, was sent to a forced labor camp in Russia’s Mordovia region to serve his sentence last month.
Griner said in court that he used the substance in e-cigarettes to relieve pain from sports injuries and stated that he did not intend to break the law.
Whelan, a former member of the US Navy, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in the same county on charges of espionage.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Nov. 18 that he hoped to reach an exchange deal that would free Russian Viktor Bout, convicted of arms smuggling and imprisoned in the United States.
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