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US receives no response from Russia after requesting a call between Blinken and Lavrov

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FILE – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) – PAVEL BEDNYAKOV / SPUTNIK / CONTACT PHOTO

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The US State Department said Thursday it had not received a response to the Russian State Department’s formal request for a phone call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

“We have made it clear to Russia that we are seeking talks between Minister Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Price has assured that one of the main topics of the call will be to discuss with Lavrov a “significant proposal” to release WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, who have been indicted by the Russian judiciary.

The American pleaded guilty to a drug offense in a Moscow court in early July, for which she could face up to ten years in prison.

For his part, former US Marine Paul Whelan has been convicted of espionage, and the Russian judiciary has previously rejected requests for repatriation submitted by his defense.

Thus, Price stressed that the United States “continues to hope that they will have the opportunity to express themselves in the coming days”, adding that the agreement signed in Turkey between Kyiv and Moscow on the export of grain will be discussed during the conference call.

For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zajarova said Lavrov would respond to the call request “as soon as his schedule allows.”

“Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will comply with this request when time permits. At the moment, his international contacts agenda is packed with real business: the meeting of the SCO Foreign Ministers Council in Tashkent and bilateral meetings,” Zajarova said, as reported by the TASS Agency.


Source europapress.es

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