“The President and his team are ready to take extraordinary steps to bring our people home. We have already demonstrated this in the case of Trevor Reed. This is what we’re doing right now, it’s actively happening now,” Kirby said.
He also refused to disclose the details of the Russian side’s proposal to exchange Americans for Viktor Bout, accused of arms trafficking and imprisoned in the United States. As Kirby clarified, the corresponding measure is aimed at increasing the chances of a deal to succeed.
On the same day, it became known that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken intended to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the other day and discuss the fate of American citizens arrested in Russia.
On May 12, the Public Monitoring Commission of the Moscow Region said that Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who was sentenced to 25 years in the United States in 2008 on charges of illegal arms trafficking, could be exchanged for an American basketball player.
Paul Whelan was detained in Moscow at the end of December 2018. A criminal case was opened against him under the article on espionage (Article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). In mid-June 2020, the Moscow City Court sentenced Whelan to 16 years in a strict regime colony.
Sheremetyevo airport customs officers detained 31-year-old American basketball player Brittney Griner in February 2022. Vapes with cannabis oil were found in her hand luggage, after which the athlete was arrested. A criminal case has been initiated against Greiner under the article on the smuggling of narcotic drugs in a significant amount. On July 7, the prosecutor’s office finished presenting evidence in the athlete’s case. As an Izvestia correspondent from the courtroom said that day, she fully admitted her guilt.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a July 6 briefing that US authorities are working to secure the release of Greiner and other Americans detained in Russia.
The news is being added.