New details are emerging about the high-stakes negotiations that brought the release of American basketball star Brittney Griner but left former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan languishing in prison – including Russia’s demand to liberate an assassin serving a life sentence for carrying out a daylight slaying in Berlin.
The Biden administration had been trying for months to negotiate Griner and Whelan’s freedom. Moscow demanded more from the U.S. as they tried to secure their freedom, even threatening Viktor Bout (convicted merchant of death) arms trafficker.
Russia wanted Vadim Krasikov, a former FSB Colonel who was convicted in June 2019 of gunning down a Georgian-born Chechen separatist, to be released as a condition for the release of both Americans, The New York Times reported.
Given the severity of the crime, it was a brazen request by the Kremlin. Krasikov was convicted for riding up to his victim’s bicycle and then execution in Berlin’s Kleine Tiergarten in December 2021. A German court referred to it as a “state-contracted killing.”
Russia demanded Vadim Krasikov be released, a former FSB colonel, who was convicted for shooting down a Georgian-born Chechen separatist in broad daylight at a central Berlin park. This was in exchange for both Americans being freed
Paul Whelan, a former Marine from the United States, is still in Russian prison. Moscow wanted to release a convicted hitman as part of any exchange involving Whelan. He vigorously denies spying accusations against him
Griner was convicted of possessing small amounts of cannabis oil in vape cartridges at Moscow airport. Whelan and government also deny the spying charges against him.
According to the report, U.S. negotiators tried to offer a three-way trade but didn’t reject it outright. Times.
Berlin authorities were not interested in releasing someone who had blatantly broken the law and ignored its sovereignty.
This revelation was made on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated openness to further negotiations after a deal that some Republicans had already criticized as unfavorable.
After Bout returned home to a warm welcome in Moscow, Putin stated that he would continue the work in the future. Griner arrived in San Antonio, Texas in the early hours Friday morning.
Putin stated that ‘everything’ is on the table and pointed out ‘compromises found in the past’. While the White House faces criticism for leaving U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan in Russia while the Olympic medalist was returned home, the White House also faces criticism for allowing him to languish in a Russian prison.
The lawyer for Russian Alexander Vinik, who was extradited to California and is accused of running a illicit cryptocurrency scheme that laundered $4 billion, wants him to be part of trade talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed willingness to engage in future negotiations. He Continues to monitor a brutal war in Ukraine
This image was taken from video provided to Russian Federal Security Service. Brittney griner, WNBA star, and two-time Olympic gold winner, smiles during her flight to Abu Dhabi.
A White House official claimed that the senior White House official had told them CNN They believe Moscow will continue to negotiate a deal over Whelan on Friday because they have ‘things they want’ in the world.
There are signs that the store is open to future negotiations. Friday’s revelations revealed that Alexander Vinik’s lawyer, who was extradited form Greece and charged with running an illegal cryptocurrency money laundering operation, demanded that his client be included in talks.
Federal prosecutors accuse Vinik used the BTC–e crypto exchange to conceal $4 billion in criminal proceeds.
The indictment alleges cybercriminals around the world participated in laundering proceeds of ransomware scams and hacking, identity theft and corrupt public officials.
The exchange received more than $4 billion in bitcoin. He In August, he was indicted on 17 counts of money laundering and two counts each of engaging in illegal monetary transactions.
The U.S. wants Marc Fogel, a Pennsylvanian, to be released. He After being caught at Moscow airport with less that one ounce of medical cannabis for a spine condition, he was sentenced to a 14-year imprisonment.
The State Department demanded his release on humanitarian grounds. Legislators continue to press the State Department to officially label him as being ‘wrongfully Detained’.
When asked by reporters on Thursday about his case, the White House refused to comment.
Pressed to confirm details of Russia’s push for the release of the convicted assassin Krasikov, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded: ‘I won’t go into detail about any of these negotiations.
She was asked if the U.S. would work with a third country in order to meet one of Moscow’s demands. “I understand your question. I can’t get into the details of what we will and won’t do. We want to ensure that they get home safely. It would be foolish to negotiate from here.