The White House urges Russia to accept a prisoner swap proposal between former Marine Paul Whelan (L) and WNBA star Brittney Griner (C) and Viktor Bout (R). Photo/Collage/Sindonews
On that occasion, Jean-Pierre added, Washington urged Moscow to accept the prisoner swap proposal.
“Under President Biden’s direction, the US government continues to work aggressively, pursuing every avenue to bring home Brittney, Paul Whelan, and every American held hostage and wrongfully detained around the world,” he said.
“As you all know, we have made a substantial offer to bring back Brittney and Paul Whelan. We urge Russia to accept the proposal.”
Also read: US Offers Prisoner Swap to Russia
“I can’t share more publicly at this time, but we are willing to take every step necessary to bring our people home. And that is what we will do here.”
“I can assure you that this is something the President and our national security team focus on every day,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies, TASSFriday (5/8/2022).
Earlier, the Moscow Region Khimki Court sentenced US basketball player Brittney Griner to nine years in prison for drug smuggling and possession. The sentence was lower than the prosecutor’s demand for 9.5 years.
Also read: Biden does not accept Russia’s sentence for US athlete to 9 years in prison for drugs
Earlier, Washington offered Moscow to swap Whelan and Griner for Russian national Viktor Bout, who is imprisoned in the US for arms trafficking. The exchange was one of the points of discussion in a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said after the talks that Lavrov strongly advised Blinken to return to “silent diplomacy” on this issue.
Also read: US-Russian Foreign Ministers Talked By Phone For The First Time Since February, What Was They Talking About?