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Russia rejects pressure for prisoner swap with the US

Cancilleria-Rusia

Russia rejects pressure for prisoner swap with the US

Moscow, Aug 11 (Prensa Latina) The deputy director of the Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department, Ivan Nechayev, said on Thursday that negotiations for the exchange of prisoners between Russia and the United States should not be under pressure.
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Speaking to the press, Nechayev reiterated Moscow’s appeal to the US authorities “not to speculate on a sensitive issue that affects the destinies of individual people.”

He also added that the authorized bodies of the nations are discussing the possibility of exchanging imprisoned citizens of the two countries.

In this regard, the official recalled that on August 5 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed Moscow’s readiness to discuss this issue, only within the framework of the channel agreed by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.

The citizens involved in the swap are basketball player Brittney Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, who was arrested at a Moscow airport on February 18 for having cannabis in her luggage.

Another is Paul Whelan, who in addition to being a US citizen is also a citizen of Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. He was arrested in Russia in December 2018 on espionage charges. A Moscow court sentenced him to 16 years.

While Victor Bout is a Russian businessman sentenced in the US for arms trafficking to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiring to kill US citizens and supporting terrorism.

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