The United States plans to take up Russia’s provide to carry presidential talks to safe a prisoner swap deal for Brittney Griner, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says.
His feedback at a gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Cambodia got here because the Kremlin warned the US towards publicising negotiations by means of “microphone diplomacy”.
Ms Griner was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian penal colony on Thursday after pleading responsible to possession of hashish vape cartridges after she was arrested at a Moscow airport in February.
Mr Blinken revealed final week that the US is pursuing a prisoner trade and supplied to launch convicted arms supplier Viktor Bout for Ms Griner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan.
The US’s prime diplomat and Russian international minister Sergei Lavrov had been each in Cambodia on Friday however didn’t talk about the swap straight, based on the Associated Press.
Mr Lavrov informed reporters on the ASEAN summit that Moscow was “ready to discuss” an trade, however that it needed to be achieved in a personal channel between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.
“If the Americans again try to engage in public diplomacy and make loud statements about their intention to take certain steps, it’s their business, I would even say their problem,” Mr Lavrov mentioned, based on the Associated Press.
“The Americans often have trouble observing agreements on calm and professional work.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the purpose in even stronger phrases on Tuesday, saying that “megaphone diplomacy and the public exchange of opinions” wouldn’t result in a breakthrough, based on Reuters.
Mr Lavrov mentioned his US counterpart had made no try to talk to him in the course of the assembly of southeast Asian international locations, the Associated Press reported.
That was regardless of reviews that Mr Blinken would attempt to buttonhole Mr Lavrov for a fast interplay in Phnom Penh.
“We were separated by just one person at the discussion table, but I didn’t feel his desire to catch me. My buttons are all in place,” he mentioned.
The US and Russia agreed to arrange a diplomatic again channel when the 2 leaders met in Geneva in June 2021.