Russia mentioned Friday it was prepared to debate a prisoner change with Washington by means of a longtime diplomatic channel, a day after basketball star Britney Grenier was sentenced to 9 years in jail for drug prices.
“We’re prepared to debate this situation, however throughout the framework of the channel agreed upon by Presidents Putin and Biden,” Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned.
“If the Individuals determine to resort once more to public diplomacy…that’s their enterprise and I’d even say their downside.”
The Kremlin had earlier warned the US towards resorting to “speaker diplomacy” within the Grenier case, saying it will solely derail efforts to safe a possible change.
Greiner’s ruling – which Joe Biden referred to as “unacceptable” – may pave the way in which for a US-Russia prisoner swap that would come with a 31-year-old athlete and a prolific Russian arms seller.
The USA has already made what Secretary of State Anthony Blinken referred to as a “substantial provide” to safe the discharge of Individuals held in Russia, together with Greiner and former Marine Paul Whelan.
Greiner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a star of the Ladies’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA), was arrested February 17 in Sheremetyevo, Moscow with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.
Greiner, who was prescribed medical hashish in the US to alleviate ache from power accidents, mentioned she made the trustworthy mistake of inadvertently packing it as she jogged for her flight. She pleaded responsible to her adjustments however insisted she had no intention of breaking Russian legislation.
Hashish is against the law in Russia for medicinal and leisure functions.