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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine -EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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US President Joe Biden makes remarks at the White House on July 27 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said President Joe Biden was “directly involved” and signed a “substantial proposal” submitted to Moscow to secure the release of detained Americans Brittany Griner and Paul Whelan.

like before Reported by CNNThe US government has offered to trade convicted arms dealer Victor Bout as part of that proposal.

Blinken did not directly confirm that the bout was part of the deal, saying he “could not and will not be involved in any of the details of what we have offered to the Russians over the course of so many weeks.”

He said, “In terms of the President, of course he was not only directly involved, he signs any resolution we make, and certainly when it comes to Americans, who, including this specific case Arbitrarily being detained abroad.”

The President’s signature is required for any prisoner swap, and the Justice Department overrules objections.

The top US diplomat plans to speak with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in the coming days, and told a news conference on Wednesday that he would “hope that by speaking to Secretary of State Lavrov, I will step up efforts to bring him home.” I can move on.”

“There is utility in my mind in giving clear, direct messages to the Russians on key priorities for us. And as I mentioned, these include securing the homecoming of Brittany Griner and Paul Whelan,” he said.

Blinken continued, “We make decisions in every case where we believe our diplomacy can advance our interests and values, including through direct engagement.”

“We make decisions about when it makes sense to talk about it publicly, and as a general proposition, I believe in as much transparency as possible. And sometimes we make decisions. We’re going to keep the talks quiet. So in this example, I thought about these issues, the detentions of our American citizens, the food prices the world is facing because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and Russia Now there are plans to advance the occupation of Ukraine’s territory, which our Russian counterpart hears directly from me,” he said.

An official says the families of Paul Whelan and Brittany Griner were informed by a senior administration official before Secretary Blinken’s announcement that a “substantial offer” had been put in place to secure their release from Russia. The officials will talk to their families today and tomorrow as well.

National Security Council communications coordinator John Kirby told CNN on Wednesday that the Biden administration had made “a substantial offer” weeks ago, adding that “the offer has been made, and we certainly hope that Russia will follow through.” Would engage favorably, but I don’t want to go into detail about it.”

Deputy Homeland Security Adviser Josh Geltzer spoke with the Griner and Whelan families earlier today before announcing Blinken’s proposed prisoner swap, Kirby told reporters during a White House press briefing.

Kirby told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, “I think we’re making it clear to the national security team that in the absence of a favorable engagement with Russia, the president’s national security team thinks Biden may have to offer directly. ” We are serious about securing that release – I have no talks to speak of, or an announcement from the president. We believe this is a serious proposal and we want Russia to take it seriously as well.”

He insisted that the administration was reluctant to give more details on the proposed prisoner swap, telling reporters, “I’m sure you can all understand that it’s going to take a lot of public interaction with all of you to bring them home.” Won’t help us, so I don’t have any more details, but I will say that the President and his team are willing to take extraordinary steps to bring our people home, as we demonstrated with Trevor Reed, and that We’re doing it here, it’s actively happening now.”

CNN’s Caitlan Collins and DJ Judd contributed reporting on this post.

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