WASHINGTON (AP) — Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a frequent emissary in hostage negotiations who has worked to secure the releases of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, visited Moscow this week and held meetings with Russian leaders, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday night.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in July that the U.S. had made a “substantial proposal” to Russia to facilitate a swap. Though he did not detail the terms, a person familiar the matter said the U.S. had offered to release convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The person who confirmed Richardson’s visit insisted on anonymity to discuss private negotiations. The Richardson Center for Global Engagement, which Richardson founded, issued a statement declining to comment on his visit. The nature of the dialogue and any outcome were not immediately clear.
CNN was first to report Richardson’s visit.
Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP