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White House pitches Russia on Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan swap for arms dealer Vicktor Bout

The Biden administration has proposed returning convicted arms merchant Viktor Bout to Russia in exchange for the release of Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed Wednesday.

Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death,” is serving 25 years in a US prison after he was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy to kill US citizens, providing aid to a terrorist organization, and other charges.

The Biden administration has proposed a prison swap with Russia to free jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS
The deal would return imprisoned arms merchant Viktor Bout to Russia in exchange for Griner and Paul Whelan.
The deal would return imprisoned arms merchant Viktor Bout to Russia in exchange for Griner and Paul Whelan.
REUTERS/U.S. Department of Justice/Handout/File Photo

CNN reported that the offer was initially communicated to Moscow last month.

This is a developing story.

File source

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