Richardson visits Moscow as Griner, Whelan remain jailed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Invoice Richardson, the previous U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a frequent emissary in hostage negotiations who has labored to safe the releases of WNBA star Brittney Griner and one other jailed American, Paul Whelan, visited Moscow this week and held conferences with Russian leaders, an individual conversant in the matter stated Tuesday evening.

The go to got here as American officers have continued to press Russia to launch Griner, who was sentenced final month to 9 years in jail in a drug possession case, and Whelan, a Michigan company safety govt serving a 16-year sentence on espionage-related costs. The U.S. authorities regards each as wrongfully detained.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced in July that the U.S. had made a “substantial proposal” to Russia to facilitate a swap. Although he didn’t element the phrases, an individual conversant in the matter stated the U.S. had provided to launch convicted Russian arms supplier Viktor Bout.

In an interview final month, Richardson stated he was hopeful in regards to the possibilities of a two-for-two prisoner swap. In circumstances like this, Richardson stated on the time, “it is proportional — two-for two.”

The one who confirmed Richardson’s go to insisted on anonymity to debate personal negotiations. The Richardson Heart for World Engagement, which Richardson based, issued a press release declining to touch upon his go to. The character of the dialogue and any consequence weren’t instantly clear.

CNN was first to report Richardson’s go to.

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Observe Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

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