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It's only been a few days since WNBA star Brittney Griner was moved to a penal colony in Mordovia, and for a short time it appeared the chances of a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia were increasing. However, the U.S. Department of State said Russia is failing to "seriously negotiate."

"I'm not going to comment on specifics of any proposal other than to say that we have made a substantial offer that the Russian Federation has consistently failed to negotiate on good faith," said Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel on Friday's Department of State briefing.

Patel said the U.S. Government has continued to follow up on that "substantial offer" and has proposed "alternative potential ways" to move forward with the Russian government. However, he said Russian officials are not cooperating as much as the US was hoping they would.

"The Russian government's failure to seriously negotiate on these issues in the established channels, or any other channel for that matter, runs counter to its public statements," Patel said. "Ultimately here, actions speak louder than words."

Patel's comments come after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said he felt hopeful the two countries will eventually reach an agreement that involves convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor 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," Ryabkov told reporters. "The Americans are showing some external activity, we are working professionally through a special channel designed for this. Viktor Bout is among those who are being discussed, and we certainly count on a positive result."

Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury, was detained on Feb. 17 at Sheremetyevo International Airport after authorities found vape cartridges containing the marijuana concentrate hashish oil in her luggage. The U.S. government declared her as "wrongfully detained," but she was found guilty on drug charges during a trial this summer. Her appeal to shorten her nine-year prison sentence  was rejected in October. Here is a full explainer on the situation.

In July, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. government had put a "substantial proposal on the table" for a prisoner exchange to bring Griner back to America, but he did not mention who else would be involved in the trade. Multiple reports suggested that Griner, along with former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, could be part of a deal with Russia in exchange for Bout, who is also known as "the Merchant of Death."

Whelan was detained at a Moscow hotel in December 2018 and arrested on espionage charges that he has consistently denied. He was given a 16-year prison sentence in 2020. Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and then extradited to America, where he is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.

In August, Alexander Darchiev, head of the North America department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, confirmed the Bout rumors to Russian state-owned news agency TASS. There hadn't been too many new updates on the negotiation as of recent, but President Biden said now that midterm elections are over, he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will be more open to negotiating Griner's release.

"My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about a prisoner exchange," Biden said last week.

Former U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Bill Richardson met with Russian officials in October to help negotiate the release of Griner and Whelan. Richardson told CNN he felt "cautiously optimistic" that they could be released before the end of this year. However, Patel said on Friday that the communication channels established by the two governments "continue to be the best avenues for this to come to a resolution."