U.S. made 'substantial offer' to bring home Griner, Whelan -Blinken

STORY: Speaking at a news conference at the U.S. State Department, Blinken said Washington offered Moscow a deal to bring home WNBA star Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan weeks ago and that he hoped to advance the process when he speaks with Lavrov.

"There was a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal. And I'll use the conversation to follow up personally and I hope move us toward a resolution," Blinken said.

He declined to say what the United States was offering in return. CNN reported that Washington was willing to exchange Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a prison sentence in the United States, as part of a deal to secure the release of the two Americans.

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