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Blinken and Russia's Lavrov have 'frank' discussion about detained citizens

Headlines 12:57 30 Jul, 2022

We had a frank and direct conversation

Blinken and Russia's Lavrov have 'frank' discussion about detained citizens

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday held a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and pressed the Kremlin to accept the 'substantial proposal' that Washington has put forward to secure the release of two Americans detained in Russia, Qazet.az reports.

In their first such conversation since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the two top diplomats looked to stick to their existing positions, according to the readout of the call from Blinken and the Russian foreign ministry.

"We had a frank and direct conversation," Blinken told a news conference at the State Department. "I pressed the Kremlin to accept the substantial proposal that we put forth on the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner," he said.

Their discussion came as a source familiar with the proceedings said Russia tried to add convicted murderer Vadim Krasikov to the proposed swap. U.S. officials did not view the idea seriously since Krasikov is in German custody, among other reasons, said the source, confirming a CNN report.