PHNOM PENH, August 5. /TASS/. Russia is ready to discuss prisoner exchange with the United States, but only within the framework of the channel previously agreed upon by the presidents of the two countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday.
"We are ready to discuss this topic, but only through the channel that was agreed upon by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [US President Joe] Biden," he said, answering a corresponding question from TASS.
Lavrov stressed that this channel remains relevant. "If the Americans decide to resort to public diplomacy again and make loud statements that they are going to take such-and-such steps, that is their business, and I would even say that this is their problem. The Americans often do not stand for quiet professional work on this and many other topics," the minister added.
When asked by TASS to comment on Kirby's statement that if Blinken had an opportunity to "catch the Russian foreign minister by the button," he would do so, Lavrov said that Kirby must have forgotten to give the US Secretary of State a corresponding instruction, since they were sitting across the discussion table on Friday. "I didn't see that he [Blinken] was interested in catching me by something there, the buttons are all in place," the Russian foreign minister pointed out.
Earlier on Thursday, Kirby said the US did not rule out that Blinken would discuss the prisoner exchange with Lavrov in Cambodia on occasion.
Lavrov is in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh on August 4 to 5, he attended the ASEAN-Russia Ministerial Meeting the day before. Blinken participated in the US-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting at the same venue. Lavrov also attended the ASEAN Gala Dinner.