U.S. Secretary of State and his Russian counterpart spoke for the first time since the Russian war on Ukraine to accept a U.S. proposal to release two Americans detained in Russia.

Iran PressAmerica: Since the beginning of the military attack by Russian army on Ukraine, the European and Western countries, especially the United States, by intensifying the pressure of sanctions against the Russian Federation and supplying all kinds of light and heavy weapons to Kyiv, not only did not take a step toward ending the war in Ukraine but more and more fueled the conflicts in the region.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had discussed the release of American detainees with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Reuters reported.

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According to Blinken, today, during his conversation with Lavrov, he "pressed" his Russian counterpart to accept a U.S. offer to release detained Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.

"I urged Foreign Minister Lavrov to move forward with that proposal," Blinken said, describing the conversation as "frank and direct."

The Biden administration has faced political pressure to free Griner and other Americans whom the United States has declared to be "wrongfully detained" – a designation sharply rejected by Russian officials.

Whelan, a corporate security executive from Michigan, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on espionage charges in 2020. He and his family have vigorously asserted his innocence. The U.S. government has denounced the charges as false.


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