Russia did not respond to the offer of Griner and Whelan Swap

President Joe Biden held meetings with family members of two Americans detained in Russia Friday at the White House, assuring them of his commitment to bringing them home safely.

Biden met Elizabeth Whelan, sister of US Marines Paul Whelan, and Cheryl Greiner, wife of Britney Greiner, along with Greiner’s agent, Lindsey Colas, in two separate meetings in the Oval Office, where he expressed a desire to have Greiner and Whelan. Return to American soil “in the forefront of mind.”

Friday’s meetings marked the first personal interaction between Biden and the families involved. Biden and his team, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, said in August that the United States had made a “substantial” proposal to Russia in an effort to secure the release of Grenier and Whelan.

However, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that Russia had not responded to the Biden administration’s proposal, which resulted in Grenier and Whelan remaining in Russian prison.

In July, the Biden administration proposed a prisoner exchange that included Greiner and Whelan for Victor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 and is said to be a second Russian also being held in a US prison.

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