A day after WNBA starfor drug smuggling and cannabis possession charges in Russia, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said her conviction "further compounds the injustice" of her situation.
Blinken was speaking with the media during a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia -- an event that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also attended.
"It puts a spotlight on our very significant turn with Russia's legal system and the Russian government's use of wrongful detentions to advance its own agenda using individuals as political pawns," Blinken said.
According to the Associated Press, Lavrov and Blinken did not interact during the meeting, even though they were sitting close to each other at the discussion table. Lavrov expressed that Russia is ready to discuss a prisoner swap but did not want to discuss the topic publicly.
President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin established a channel dedicated to communication between Russia and the United States in June 2021, and that's where Lavrov said he wanted to conduct the discussion.
"If the Americans again try to engage in public diplomacy and make loud statements about their intention to take certain steps, it's their business, I would even say their problem," he said. "The Americans often have trouble observing agreements on calm and professional work."
That is similar to what Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow, per the AP. He said no exchange will take place if the issue is discussed through the media.
"The U.S. already has made mistakes, trying to solve such problems via 'microphone diplomacy.' They are not solved that way," Peskov said.
Blinken has not publicly disclosed any details on what the United States is offering Russia, but CBS News reported that "people familiar with the proposal" say Griner, along with another American, corporate security director Paul Whelan, could be swapped for notorious arms trader Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.
Griner has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 when she was arrested at the Sheremetyevo International Airport after customs found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
For a full explainer on Griner's situation,