In the phone calls initiated by the American side, not only the exchange of prisoners, but also the situation in Ukraine were discussed. The parties also discussed Russian-American relations, “which is in great need of normalization” and the course of the special operation of the RF Armed Forces in Ukraine.
July 27 declarationHe plans to meet with Lavrov. The American side sent a corresponding request to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“We had an open and direct conversation. I urged the Kremlin to accept our offer to release Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.” aforementioned Wink.
Blinken declined to give details about Moscow’s reaction.
In the message on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is stated that the parties discussed the issue of prisoner exchange. Lavrov suggested that Blinken return to professional dialogue mode without stuffing speculative information and switch to “silent diplomacy.”
The sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations, which urgently need normalization.
Lavrov also outlined to Blinken the details of the Istanbul agreements on the lifting of restrictions on the supply of Russian products for export and Russia’s assistance in Ukrainian food exports from Black Sea ports.
“The minister stressed that the US sanctions made the situation complicated, and stressed that the US promise to provide appropriate exemptions for the Russian food supply has not yet been fulfilled. In the message on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was stated that it is unacceptable for the “collective West” to use this problem for its geopolitical interests.
Lavrov drew Blinken’s attention that the supply of Western weapons used against the civilian population to Kiev only prolongs the conflict and multiplies the victims, but also “prolongs the suffering of the regime in Kiev.”
The parties also discussed Russia’s special operations in Ukraine. Lavrov told Blinken that all its goals and objectives will be fully fulfilled.
The essence of the grain deal
On July 22, Russia signed documents with the UN and Turkey on a “product agreement” that lifted restrictions on the supply of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers for export and facilitated the export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Separately, Ukraine signed its own part of the agreement with Turkey and the UN. The term of the agreement is 120 days with the possibility of extension. If the parties decide to terminate the contract, they must notify each other three months before the expected date.
A joint coordination center in Istanbul, which should be operational in August, will be able to resolve possible incidents. The UN expects that up to five million tons of grain can be exported per month from Ukrainian ports.
The Russian side signed two documents. Firstly, the memorandum assumes the participation of the UN in the removal of restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to world markets, secondly, it sets the algorithm for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from the Black Sea ports controlled by Kyiv. . The agreement includes the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.
Ships bound for Ukraine will be subject to arms inspection by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations. The safety of the roads will be ensured by minesweepers, the territorial waters of Ukraine are not expected to be completely cleared.
According to the documents, Moscow and Kyiv agreed not to attack ships from Ukraine with agricultural products.
It has been reported that the American side wants to exchange Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who is imprisoned in the USA, for basketball players Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.
Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the United States in 2010. In 2012, a New York court announced its verdict on an entrepreneur’s arms smuggling charges. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a number of crimes, including conspiracy to kill US citizens, including officials, conspiracy to sell missiles, and conspiracy to support terrorism through collaboration with the Colombian rebel group FARC. The prosecution demanded that Bout be sentenced to life imprisonment. In the absence of compelling reasons for his release, Viktor Bout should be released from prison on August 19, 2029.
Greiner was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for the discovery of electronic cigarettes containing poppy oil, which is prohibited in Russia. The Athlete is charged with committing a crime under paragraph “c” of Part 2 of Art. 229.1, Part 1 of Art. 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (smuggling and possession of drugs). At the hearing in the Khimki court on July 27, he stated that he used the medical marijuana he had on him with the permission of the doctors and did not intend to violate Russian law.
Working for BorgWarner, a car parts company, Whelan was detained in a room at the Metropol Hotel on December 28, 2018, where he received a flash card containing, among other things, a secret contact list that included its members. domestic special services. A criminal case was brought against the American in accordance with Art. 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (espionage), which means a prison sentence of up to 20 years. On June 15, 2020, the Moscow City Court sentenced Whelan to 16 years in a tight regime colony on charges of espionage.