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Blinken, Russian top diplomat speak about Griner, Whelan | Sports

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by phone to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday in the highest-level known contact between the two sides since Russia invaded Ukraine, with Blinken urging Russia to accept a deal to win the release of American detainees Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.

Russian officials gave no public hint whether Blinken had made any headway, only issuing a chiding statement afterward urging the U.S. to pursue the Americans’ freedom through “quiet diplomacy, without releases of speculative information.”

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