Putin indicates that he is willing to consider exchanging prisoners for the release of the WSJ reporter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview with former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson that he is open to reaching an agreement with the U.S. to release Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained for almost a year on espionage charges that have not been substantiated. Putin expressed his desire to see Gershkovich return to the U.S., but also stated that the Kremlin expects something in return. He implied that he would like to see Russian assassin Vadim Krasikov, who is currently serving a life sentence in Germany for murder, in exchange for Gershkovich. The U.S. has made multiple proposals to Russia for the release of Gershkovich and another American, Paul Whelan, who is also serving a prison sentence on espionage charges. However, these proposals have been rejected by Russia. Putin acknowledged ongoing discussions between the U.S. and Russia, but stated that the U.S. has not made a satisfactory offer. He expressed hope that an agreement can be reached through dialogue between the two countries’ special services. Putin also mentioned previous successful prisoner swaps between the U.S. and Russia and stated that he does not rule out the possibility of Gershkovich returning to the U.S. However, he urged the U.S. to consider how they can contribute to the goals of the Russian special services. President Biden has been personally involved in efforts to secure the release of Americans who are held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, including Gershkovich and Whelan.  

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