During a press conference on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he intends to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for the first time since the country invaded Ukraine in February, about an offer to release detained Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.
ANTONY BLINKEN: In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that's a top priority for us. The release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who've been wrongfully detained and must be allowed to come home.
We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago, to facilitate their release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal. And I'll use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, move us toward a resolution.