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Putin opens the door for additional prisoner swaps after Griner exchange

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he would be open to exploring further prisoner swaps between the U.S. and Russia after a deal was made to free Brittney Griner, Axios reported. 

In his comments, which were released by Russian state media, Putin said "everything is possible" in regards to future prisoner exchanges. The Russian president added that "compromises have been found" that could open the door for similar trades in the future. 

"We aren't refusing to continue this work in the future," Putin added. "Whether this could set stage for a dialogue with the U.S. is a separate issue. We didn't set the task to move from those talks to something else, but they do create a certain atmosphere."

Putin's remarks came just one day after WNBA star Brittney Griner, who had been detained in Russia for the past 10 months, was brought home in exchange for Russia receiving convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout

The Russian president's openness to exploring further trades remains critical, as the United States is still working to free captured former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. While Griner was arrested for illegally carrying cannabis oil, Whelan has been detained since 2018 on accusations of spying. Given the nature of this charge, Russia has notably rejected any proposals made by the U.S. that would involve bringing Whelan home. 

In response to Putin, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told The Associated Press"We registered what Mr. Putin said, let's see what he actually does."