Russia makes prisoner swap proposal to US – CNN — Analysis

CNN reports that Moscow asked for a Berlin man who was convicted of assassinating an ex-chechen commander.

Moscow requests Vadim Krasikov (a Russian national who was convicted in Germany of murder last year) to be part in an eventual prisoner swap with the US. CNN reported Friday, citing several people with knowledge about the matter.

According to the channel, Viktor Bout was previously convicted in America of arms trafficking a decade back. The US would be willing to trade him for Paul Whelan, a former Marine, and Brittney Griner (currently held in Russia in connection with espionage and drug charges).

Krasikov was convicted by a German court in December for assassinating Zelimkhan Khangoshvili – a former Chechen commander who fought against Moscow – in a Berlin park in 2019 and sentenced to life in prison. While the court determined that Krasikov acted at the request of the Russian government (although the Kremlin denies that Krasikov had been involved), it also found that Krasikov committed the crime.

CNN claims that Moscow asked for Krasikov’s swap last month. “an informal backchannel” used by the country’s chief domestic security agency, the FSB. Sources told Channel 5 that they were able to see the request as “problematic”Krasikov, who is currently in German custody is not being viewed as “a legitimate counter” to Washington’s reported offer to exchange Bout for Griner and Whelan.

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However, the German Government Source said that they had made enquiries to the US about Krasikov and were not willing to swap. “has not been seriously considered.”According to a US official, the act was called “unprecedented.” “a status check.” 

CNN was told by Adrienne Watson that she is a spokesperson for the US National Security Council. “holding two wrongfully detained Americans hostage for the release of a Russian assassin in a third country’s custody is not a serious counteroffer.”Elle added that Krasikov could be traded if she requested it. “a bad faith attempt to avoid the deal on the table that Russia should take.”

Russia did not comment on Krasikov’s reported request.

CNN reported Wednesday that Washington offered Moscow Bout in exchange for Whelan or Griner. Although the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that talks were ongoing on possible exchanges, it did not give details. Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, stated that he spoke with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister over the telephone on Friday.

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