WASHINGTON (AP) — Bill Richardson, former United Nations ambassador and frequent envoy for hostage negotiations who worked to secure the release of WNBA star Britney Griner and another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan, said: , a person familiar with the matter with Russian leaders who visited Moscow this week to hold a meeting, said Tuesday evening.
The visit will help the United States to release Griner, who was sentenced last month to nine years in prison for drug possession, and Whelan, a corporate security executive in Michigan who is serving a 16-year sentence on espionage-related charges. It comes as the authorities continue to put pressure on Russia. The U.S. government considers both to have been unjustly detained.
Secretary of State Antony Brinken announced in July that the United States had made a “substantial proposal” to Russia to facilitate swaps. Without giving details of the terms, a person familiar with the matter said the United States had offered to release the convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
In an interview with the Associated Press last month, Richardson said he was hopeful about the possibility of a two-for-two prisoner exchange. I was.
The person who confirmed Richardson’s visit requested anonymity to discuss private negotiations.The Richardson Global Engagement Center, founded by Richardson, issued a statement refusing to comment on his visit. announced. The nature and outcome of the dialogue was not immediately clear.
CNN was the first to report Richardson’s visit.
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