U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed on Wednesday that the United States has offered a deal in an attempt to get WNBA star Brittney Griner back from Russia, with Kremlin officials confirming that no agreements have been made regarding the deal.

In an apparent reversal of policy regarding both Russia and prisoner exchanges, Blinken said that they have offered a deal to Russia to attempt to get WNBA star Brittney Griner and American prisoner Paul Whelan, and that Blinken will be communicating with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the first time since before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, according to ESPN.

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

The deal, which was signed off by President Biden, appears to have been confirmed by the Kremlin when spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that no agreement has been made in regards to the deal that was given to the Russians, the New York Post reported.

Previously, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin had spoken about a potential prisoner exchange with regards to Griner before the Russia-Ukraine war began, though no outcome happened from the talks.

“The issue of the mutual exchange of Russian and American citizens in detention on the territory of the two countries was at one time discussed by the presidents of Russia and the United States,” Zakharova said. “They gave instructions to the relevant authorized structures to carry out negotiations. These are being conducted by the competent departments. A concrete result has not yet been achieved.”

Though unconfirmed, the prisoner exchange deal will allegedly exchange Griner and Whelan for arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is currently spending 25 years in prison for conspiracy to kill Americans and providing aid to a terrorist organization, among other charges, NBC News reported.

“This is delicate work,” John Kirby, National Security Council spokesperson said. “We’ve made a proposal, and we urge the Russians to move positively on that proposal so we can get these two individuals home.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that they have sent out a proposal to Russia regarding a potential exchange for imprisoned Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, and that he would be meeting with his Russian counterpart about it. ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/Getty Images.

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