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Russian official says US is hampering a prisoner exchange with unequal demands

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian deputy foreign minister said talks with the United States on a potential prisoner exchange that would free Americans held in Russia are hampered by publicity and an alleged disparity in the U.S. negotiating stance. The U.S. State Department said last week that Russia rejected several proposals for freeing Paul Whelan, an American convicted of espionage, and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was detained in March and is facing espionage charges. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Interfax news agency published Friday, “Here, as in many other areas, we observe the American traditional desire to get more for ourselves and give the minimum, as they say.”

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