Russia said on Friday it hoped to clinch a prisoner swap with the United States to return convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the "Merchant of Death," in an exchange that would likely include U.S. basketball star, Brittney Griner.

Iran PressEurope: Amid the deadliest war in Europe since World War Two, Russia and the United States are exploring a deal that could see imprisoned Americans, including Griner return to the United States in exchange for Bout.

"I want to hope that the prospect not only remains but is being strengthened, and that the moment will come when we will get a concrete agreement," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

"The Americans are showing some external activity; we are working professionally through a special channel designed for this," Ryabkov said, adding: "Viktor Bout is among those who are being discussed, and we certainly count on a positive result."


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