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A day after a WNBA star Britney Greenner jailed for nine years U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said her conviction “further adds to the injustice of her situation” on charges of drug smuggling and marijuana possession in Russia.

Blinken spoke to the media on the sidelines of Cambodia’s meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which was also attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“It highlights our significant shift in the Russian legal system and the Russian government’s use of illegal detentions to advance its own agenda, using individuals as political pawns,” Blinken said.

according to Associated Press, Lavrov and Blinken did not interact during the meeting, although they sat close together at the discussion table. Lavrov said Russia was ready to discuss the issue of prisoner swaps, but did not want to discuss the topic publicly.

President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin established a channel in June 2021 dedicated to communication between Russia and the United States, and Lavrov said he wanted to hold discussions there.

“If Americans try to engage in public diplomacy again and say loudly that they intend to do something, that’s their business, and I’d even say their problem,” he said. “Americans often struggle to comply with protocols around calm and professional work.”

This is similar to what Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow, according to the Associated Press. If the issue is discussed through the media, there will be no communication, he said.

“The United States has made the mistake of trying to solve these problems through ‘microphone diplomacy’. They didn’t solve it that way,” Peskov said.

Blinken did not publicly disclose any details of what the U.S. offered Russia, but CBS News Greener and another American, corporate security chief Paul Whelan, could be replaced by notorious arms dealer Victor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States, said “people familiar with the proposal”. .

Griner has been detained in Russia since her arrest at Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17 after customs found vaping cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

For a full explanation of the Griner situation, Click here.

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