I pressed the Kremlin to accept the proposal we made to release Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, Blinken said
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (Antony) spoke today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The conversation was honest and direct, Blinken said, reports CNN .
This is the first time the two have spoken since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
- I pressured the Kremlin to accept the proposal we put forward on the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner – said Blinken.
CNN previously reported that the US is ready to exchange convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for an American prisoner. Blinken also said that they discussed an agreement on the safe transit of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.
- We want to see progress as soon as possible – said Blinken.
He also emphasized that “the world will not recognize the annexations” and that “it will impose additional costs on Russia if it starts implementing its plans.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Blinken today that Washington is not fulfilling its promise that food supplies from Russia will be exempt from sanctions.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also states that Lavrov told Blinken that Russia would achieve all the goals of its “special military operation” in Ukraine and that Western arms deliveries would only prolong the conflict.