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News > Russia

Lavrov Urges Blinken To Avoid Leaks Regarding Prisoner Exchange

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov | Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Published 29 July 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a telephone conversation he held Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urged to resort to diplomacy without speculations and leaks when discussing the exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Washington, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

"Referring to the possible exchange of imprisoned citizens of Russia, the Russian side urges the United States to return to the professional mode, to the dialogue of 'calm diplomacy,' without speculations and leaks of information," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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On Wednesday, Blinken indicated that Washington offered Moscow to exchange Russia's Viktor Bout to facilitate the release of Americans Paul Whelan, sentenced to 16 years for espionage, and Brittney Griner, accused of drug smuggling.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that negotiations on the prisoner exchange between Russia and the United States are underway, but no concrete result has yet been reached.

Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 as part of a US security services operation and extradited to the US in 2010.

The US justice system sentenced him to 25 years in prison for allegedly conspiring to kill US citizens by agreeing to supply weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla organization that recently abandoned the armed struggle but which is listed by the White House as a terrorist organization.

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