Discussions are ongoing to try to secure the release of Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan from Russia, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday.
“This is something we continue to work with the utmost urgency,” Price said at a State Department briefing.
He declined to offer specifics on the discussions beyond reiterating that the US continues to push the Russians to respond to the “substantial proposal” put forward by the US to free the two Americans, who have been classified as wrongfully detained.
The US has offered to swap convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout as part of that deal.
A State Department official said in early August that “there was a channel that was established between the two presidents in June of 2021 in Geneva and that is where we're pursuing these discussions.”
Moscow has also confirmed that discussions on the matter are taking place in that channel.