US Secretary of State speaks with Russia’s Lavrov about prisoners

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had spoken with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov about the possible release of two US citizens imprisoned by Moscow in the first conversation between the two since the war in Ukraine began. They had a “frank and direct conversation” on Friday morning about an offer to release the US basketball player Brittney Griner and the Paul Whelan, Blinken said in Washington. Whelan has been imprisoned for alleged espionage since his arrest in 2018. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in June 2020. US professional basketball player Griner is on trial fo…

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