By: Nina Samone
On Thursday, Russian officials responded to reports from the Biden administration that a proposal was made to bring Griner home along with Paul Whelan, former U.S. Marine.
Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State, said the proposal was offered weeks ago but no deal has yet been finalized.
There has been buzz around a rumored prisoner swap – both Griner and Whelan in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, but these discussions are usually done discreetly.
Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that while there have been talks between Russia and the United States, “there has been no concrete result yet.”
Russian-born former U.S. intelligence officer, Rebekah Koffler, is an expert on Russia and Vladimir Putin. She shed some more light on the dynamic of the situation.
Koffler explained that while Russia did want Viktor Bout back – as he is a former military intelligence officer – they aren’t in any rush to reach an agreement with the Biden Administration who has called Putin a war criminal and has plans to designate Russia a “sponsor of terrorism.”
The Biden Administration is under a lot of pressure to bring Russian-held Americans home, and Putin is in no hurry to stop their squirming.
Dedaj, Paulina. July 28th, 2022. Fox News. “Russian officials respond to US offer for Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan: ‘No agreements have been finalized’. <https://www.foxnews.com/sports/russian-officials-respond-us-offer-brittney-griner-paul-whelan-no-agreements-have-been-finalized>