In the course of the negotiations on the release of the American basketball player Brittney Griner and another American, Russia is said to have demanded the transfer of the convicted Russian in the so-called Tiergarten murder case, according to US information. "They demanded the surrender of a man (...), a murderer who is in custody in Germany," National Security Council communications director John Kirby told ABC News on Sunday.
However, this was not considered a serious counter-offer by the USA. After all, Washington cannot intervene if the man is not in US custody. As early as July, there were reports that Russia submitted the request to the United States through informal intelligence channels. According to the reports, the request was classified as problematic, among other things, because the 57-year-old is in prison in Germany.
Moscow denies any guilt
In August 2019, a Georgian was shot dead in the Kleiner Tiergarten park in Berlin. The Berlin Court of Appeal had sentenced the Russian perpetrator to life imprisonment. The judges were convinced that he acted on behalf of Russian state authorities. Russia denies such allegations. The so-called Tiergarten murder had led to diplomatic upheavals between Germany and Russia.
The US and Russia on Thursday pulled off a new prisoner swap despite tensions between the two countries over the war in Ukraine. US basketball player Griner, sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia, was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor But at Abu Dhabi airport. Negotiations on this had been going on for months. The US also wants to free American Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia. He was convicted of alleged espionage in 2018.