Sergey Lavrov: Latest News

Kremlin says Brittney Griner swap must be discussed without publicity

MOSCOW - The Kremlin said Friday that it’s open to talking about a possible prisoner exchange involving American basketball star Brittney Griner but strongly warned Washington against publicizing the issue.Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and an eight-time all-star with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after police at a Moscow airport said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.A judge convicted the 31-year-old athlete Thursday of drug possession and smuggling, and sentenced her to nine years in prison.

The politically charged case comes amid high tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s military action in Ukraine.Asked at the White House Friday about the prospects of securing Griner’s release, President Joe Biden said: "I’m hopeful ... We’re working hard."MORE: Biden tells Brittney Griner's wife he's working to get her homeIn an extraordinary move, U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke last week to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, urging him to accept a deal under which Griner and Paul Whelan, an American jailed in Russia on espionage charges, would go free.Lavrov and Blinken were both in Cambodia on Friday for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Blinken did not even glance at his Russian counterpart as they took their seats at an East Asia Summit.Lavrov told reporters that Blinken didn’t try to contact him while they were attending the ASEAN meeting."We were separated by just one person at the discussion table, but I didn’t feel his desire to catch me.

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Sergey Lavrov - Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means Canada faces belligerent Arctic neighbour - globalnews.ca - Canada - Russia - county Canadian - Ukraine
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means Canada faces belligerent Arctic neighbour
READ MORE: Russia threatens response to Canadian sanctionsIn this context, concerns that were previously voiced about the future of Arctic security following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea republic in 2014 have heightened enormously in the past 72 hours.In a chilling attempt to justify Russia’s invasion of its neighbour last week, Putin concocted an imaginary history of Ukraine as an illegitimate state on territory integral to Russia’s national identity. Putin is similarly known to view Russian control over the Arctic as a vital expression of the country’s mythic destiny.The idea that Russia might soon be pressured to halt or reverse its imminent conquest of Ukraine — in response, say, to harsh economic sanctions and unified condemnation among Western countries — seems naïve.That makes it equally hard to imagine a world in which Russia will continue to comply with the genteel terms of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the Law of the Sea convention, or with various security, environmental and cultural agreements struck with Canada and other members of the eight-nation Arctic Council — currently chaired by Russia.In flouting the international rules-based order with its unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, Russia can no longer be counted upon as a constructive partner in any of its multilateral involvements with Canada in the Arctic or elsewhere.READ MORE: Ukrainian Canadians denounce Russian invasion; cities raise Ukrainian flagLong-time Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is one of Putin’s key lieutenants in the war on Ukraine.
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