Speed Reads


Russian foreign minister says he'll discuss Brittney Griner prisoner swap with Blinken

The U.S. looks set for a phone call with Russia's foreign minister to discuss a proposed prisoner swap that could finally bring Brittney Griner home. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday he's "open to a call" with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss a prisoner swap proposed by the United States, The Associated Press reports. "I will listen to what he has to say," Lavrov said. 

Earlier this week, reports emerged that the U.S. has proposed exchanging convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, Americans who are being held in Russia.

"We communicated a substantial offer that we believe could be successful based on a history of conversations with the Russians," a senior administration official told CNN. "We communicated that a number of weeks ago, in June."

Lavrov now says he will propose a time to discuss the potential swap with Blinken, according to The New York Times

Whelan has been detained in Russia since 2018 on espionage charges, while Griner has been detained since February after being arrested at the airport with cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage. Her drug trial is ongoing, and her lawyers recently presented evidence showing that she was prescribed medical cannabis due to chronic pain. She could face up to 10 years in prison.