US appeals to Russia to recognize mercenaries in Ukraine as combatants
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reveals that the US calls on Russia to recognize its mercenaries in Ukraine.
Washington has asked Moscow to recognize US mercenaries fighting in Ukraine as combatants, but there has been no further discussion on the issue, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday.
"As I understand, there was no continuation of the topic, there was a certain signal from the American side, mainly focused on the fact that these persons should be classified as combatants within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, they should be subject to specific commitments," Ryabkov told reporters.
Ryabkov says Russia, US must discuss exchange of prisoners behind closed door
According to Ryabkov, Moscow and Washington must meet behind closed doors to arrange the exchange of detainees, including US basketball player Brittney Griner, Russian billionaire Viktor Bout, and Russian computer hacker Roman Seleznev.
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"As for any exchange schemes, our position has remained the same: this needs to be done behind closed doors through available channels. I'm not sure that any additional activity, especially in the public sphere, will contribute to a correct balanced compromise and finding a basis to alleviate the plight of our compatriots such as Viktor Bout, who has health problems, such as Seleznev, and many others," Ryabkov said.
Ex-US diplomat trip to Russia amid Griner case not under discussion - Ryabkov
The visit of former US Ambassador Bill Richardson to Moscow in connection with the detention of US basketball player Brittney Griner in Russia is not currently being discussed, according to Ryabkov.
"Now the issue of his [Richardson's] trip to Russia is not being worked out. I do not have information, on whether he has a Russian visa, but, as far as I know, he is not on the banned lists. Therefore, we can probably welcome the desire of such an authoritative figure to take care of his compatriots," he told reporters.