The United States has “put a substantial proposal on the table” to facilitate the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, two Americans detained in Russia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday, APA reports citing Politico.
Blinken plans to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by phone in the coming days to personally follow up on the proposal, as well as hold other conversations with Russian officials.
“My hope would be in speaking to Foreign Minister Lavrov, I can advance the efforts to bring them home,” Blinken told reporters during news conference.
The planned call would be the first between Blinken and Lavrov since the start of the war in Ukraine, Blinken said. The secretary of State said he would also make appeals on the tentative deal for grain exports reached last week, and ongoing Russia's offensive in Ukraine — direct diplomacy on what he characterized as key issues for the U.S. and world.