By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News, July 28, 2022
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (on the left) confirmed that the White House has approached Russia with a proposal for the release of its citizens Brittney Greiner and Paul Whelan. However, he refused to disclose its contents. He noted that in the near future he intends to discuss the problem of prisoners with the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov (on the right).
The United States has made a “serious offer” to Russia to bring back former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and basketball player Brittney Greiner. This was announced by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The coordinator for strategic communications at the US National Security Council, John Kirby, said that President Joe Biden is ready to take “extraordinary steps” to make their exchange take place. Earlier, CNN reported that the White House supported the idea of exchanging Paul Whelan and Brittney Greiner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, arrested in 2008 and tried in the U.S. to a 25-year prison sentence.
“As for the president, of course, he is not only directly involved, he approves any proposals that we make. In particular, when it comes to Americans wrongfully detained abroad, including this particular case,“said Mr. Blinken, answering the question whether Mr. Biden is aware of the negotiations on the exchange of Mr. Whelan and Ms. Greiner.
The US Secretary of State could not confirm whether Washington agreed to exchange them for Russian businessman Viktor Bout. He noted that the example of Trevor Reed demonstrates that the American president is ready to make “difficult decisions” if it means the safe return of U.S. citizens home.
“The U.S. president and his team are ready for extraordinary steps to bring our people home. We have already demonstrated this in the case of Trevor Reed. This is what we are doing right now, it is actively happening now, “Mr. Kirby duplicated the words of Mr. Blinken.
He also called on Moscow to take the exchange more seriously. “The details of this, I think, are better left between us and our Russian colleagues,” the White House spokesman said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the near future intends to hold a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during which the parties are expected to discuss the exchange of Americans.
CNN reported that the US authorities agree to exchange Russian businessman Viktor Bout for Paul Whelan, arrested in December 2018 and who is serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage, and Brittney Greiner, accused of drug smuggling.
In late April this year, American Trevor Reed, who was serving a nine-year sentence for attacking police officers in Moscow, was exchanged for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, convicted in the United States in 2011 for 20 years in prison on charges of conspiring to deliver a large consignment of drugs to the United States.
A succesful exchange of prisoners will be good news for the Democrats, ahead of the midterms elections next November. The continuing increase of inflation since September 2021 is a serious problem for the U.S. economy. The middle and working class families are financially decimated right now. Democrats will be in great difficulty in the coming midterms election next november. Thus, any diplomatic success that could bring home U.S. citizens will help the White House to enhance its political position ahead of elections.
Thank you for being among our readers.
Our community already has nearly 65,000 followers !
Sign up to receive our latest articles, it’s free !
Support us by sharing our posts !
© Copyright 2022 – Eurasia Business News