Putin says extra US-Russia prisoner exchanges ‘doable’ after Griner launch

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned further U.S.-Russia prisoner exchanges are “doable” after the 2 international locations agreed Thursday to an alternate of WNBA star Brittney Griner for Russian arms vendor Viktor Bout. 

The Russian state-owned information company RIA reported on Friday that Putin advised reporters that the deal was the results of negotiations and compromises, and Russia officers won’t refuse to proceed to search for them sooner or later. 

He mentioned the Russian Federal Safety Service was liable for negotiating the alternate. 

The United State secured Griner’s launch after she was imprisoned in Russia for greater than 9 months, since shortly earlier than Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started. 

Griner was detained on drug expenses after vape cartridges had been discovered on her. She was discovered responsible of the fees and sentenced to 9 years imprisonment, being transferred to a penal colony final month. 

Bout was serving a 25-year sentence for a wide range of expenses, together with conspiracy to kill U.S. residents and offering assist to a terrorist group. 

The Biden administration has been making an attempt for months to barter with Russia the return of Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan, each of whom U.S. officers have mentioned had been detained on trumped-up expenses, however President Biden mentioned Russia was treating Whelan’s case in another way and wouldn’t embrace him within the Griner deal for Bout. 

Whelan was arrested in Russia in 2018 on espionage expenses and is serving a 16-year jail sentence. 

Some have criticized the Biden administration for not securing Whelan’s freedom within the deal that freed Griner, however officers have emphasised that they plan to proceed to hunt Whelan’s launch. 

CNN reported that U.S. officers supplied Russia a number of choices of Russian prisoners to commerce for Whelan’s launch, however Russia would solely take into account a deal in the event that they obtained former colonel Vadim Krasikov, a Russian spy who’s serving a life sentence for homicide in Germany. 

The German authorities was not keen to work with the U.S. to free Krasikov. 

“We’ve proven an openness to speak about that which is definitely accessible to us and gotten solely in response a requirement for one thing not accessible to us,” a senior Biden administration official advised CNN.