Russia wants possible prisoner swap for Griner kept quiet
Karah Rucker: RUSSIA SAYS THERE’S NO DEAL YET ON A PRISONER SWAP.
THE DEAL- FIRST ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY – WOULD POTENTIALLY BRING HOME AMERICAN BASKETBALL STAR BRITTNEY GRINER, AS WELL AS A FORMER U-S MARINE.
Antony Blinken: “I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us. The release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who’ve been wrongfully detained and must be allowed to come home. We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release.”
Karah Rucker: A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE KREMLIN EXPRESSED SURPRISE AT BLINKENS COMMENTS- SAYING SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN NO AGREEMENTS IN THIS AREA.
AND THAT PRISONER SWAPS SHOULD BE DONE QUIETLY.
THE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT- EVEN CAUGHT THE FAMILIES OF THE DETAINED AMERICANS OFF GUARD.
David Whelan: “I think we were all taken by surprise yesterday when the announcement was made. Our reaction is a little bit of hope. The offer that the US government has made and the extraordinarily made public is super. Hopefully the Russian government will take the concessions that have been made and allow Paul to come home.”
Karah Rucker: A SOURCE TELLS REUTERS THE U-S IS WILLING TO SEND VIKTOR BOUT BACK TO RUSSIA IN EXCHANGE FOR THE TWO AMERICANS.
KNOWN AS THE “MERCHANT OF DEATH” — BOUT IS KNOWN AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST PROLIFIC ARMS DEALERS.