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Newsline: Russian diplomat says prisoner swap with US still possible

Russia and the United States have repeatedly been on the verge of an agreement on a prisoner exchange, a senior Russian diplomat said Tuesday, adding that a deal is still possible before the year’s end. Asked by reporters whether a swap is possible before the year’s end, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov responded that “there always is a chance.” “Regrettably, there have been a few occasions when it seemed that a decision in favor of it was about to be made, but it never happened,” he said without elaborating. “If that happened, iT would undoubtedly send a positive signal that not everything is so utterly hopeless in Russian-U.S. relations,” Ryabkov added. He reiterated Moscow’s call for the U.S. to discuss the issue discreetly and refrain from making public statements. He lamented that “Washington has been abusing ‘loudspeaker diplomacy’ instead of a quiet one, which didn’t help us to do business.” (https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/brittney-griner-russian-diplomat-says-prisoner-swap-with-us-remains-possible) The Biden administration has been trying for months to negotiate the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, including through a possible prisoner swap with Moscow.

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