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Russia Wants Two Prisoners in Swap for Americans Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan

  • Putin not ready to swap Griner, Whelan for arms dealer Bout
  • Russia could demand Kremlin insider extradited last year to US
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Blinken Pushes Russia to Take Offer for Griner
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Moscow is leaning toward rejecting a prisoner swap unless it gets two Russians in return for the two Americans the US wants released, according to people familiar with the Kremlin’s thinking.

The US has called on Russia to free WNBA player Brittney Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, offering to free convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout. Discussions have been stop-start since June, with Moscow reluctant to agree to a deal it sees as unequal, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential matters.