MADRID, Dec. 9 (.) –
The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, has affirmed that Washington is willing to maintain “contacts” with Russia to achieve “advance national interests”, while he has defended the release of the Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, in a prisoner exchange with the goal of bringing basketball player Brittney Griner back to the United States.
“We have shown all the time that, despite the challenges, to put it mildly, in the relationship in general and despite the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, we are capable of working on specific issues, on interests that we have, to see if we can make progress,” he said in an interview with the US television channel CBS.
“During this time we have been trying to get the return of Americans who are wrongfully detained (in Russia). There are other aspects of relations where we continue to maintain some kind of contact, for example on arms control, and we will continue to do so as long as necessary. to advance the national interests of the United States,” he explained.
Blinken has said that Griner’s release means that it is “a good day” and has argued that “what is done every day seems like an abstraction, but this is a reminder that, at the end of the day, it is about people real lives, real lives, and real futures.” “It’s wonderful that Brittney and Cherelle (the basketball player’s wife) can get on with their lives now that she’s free and coming home,” he argued.
However, he has acknowledged that he would have also liked to obtain the release of Paul Whelan, a former US marine sentenced in Russia to 16 years in prison for espionage. “We have been doing everything possible to get him out,” said Blinken, who has promised that Washington “will not stop until Paul is back home.”
“We are working around the world, and also in Russia, to ensure that every American unjustly detained returns home. We have done it every day since the beginning of this Administration. The president (American, Joe Biden) has taken, in many things, tough decisions necessary for them to return home. We are making them. I am not going to rest until we achieve the return of all possible people”, he has riveted.