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U.S. Secretary Of State Spoke With Top Russian Diplomat About Brittney Griner Offer

US Olympic basketball player Brittney Griner in Russia.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 26: US Olympic champion basketball player Brittney Griner, accused of drug smuggling, is seen before being questioned at the Khimki City Court in Moscow, Russia on July 26, 2022. Griner has been put under arrest until December 20 for trying to smuggle cannabis oil through Sheremetyevo Airport. (Photo by Pavel Pavlov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about a deal that would secure the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. 

Details regarding Blinken and Lavrov's conversation aren't available at this time. 

"I urged Foreign Minister Lavrov to move forward with that proposal," Blinken said, via ESPN. "I can't give you an assessment of whether that is any more or less likely."

Blinken did say he extended a "substantial proposal" to Russia to release Griner and Whelan. 

It was previously reported that the United States could send Viktor Bout back to Russia in exchange for Griner and Whelan. 

Bout, a Russian arms dealer, is known as the "Merchant of Death." In 2011, he was found guilty of conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to deliver anti-aircraft missiles, and aiding a terrorist organization.

Blinken didn't reveal if Bout is part of his "substantial offer" to Lavrov. 

ESPN's T.J. Quinn reported that a verdict and sentence for Griner should come on Aug. 5. 

Griner already pleaded guilty, but she said there was no criminal intent in bringing cannabis oil to Russia.