Blinken to speak to Russia's Lavrov for first time since Ukraine invasion

Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Wednesday that he plans to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "in the coming days" to raise several issues, including the detentions of WNBA star Brittney Griner and other Americans in Russia as well as the recent deal to resume Ukrainian grain exports.

Why it matters: It will be the first such call since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, though Blinken insisted it "will not be a negotiation about Ukraine." He also said he would warn Lavrov that the U.S. and international community would not accept Russian annexations of Ukrainian territory.

Behind the scenes: Blinken said the U.S. had made a proposal to the Russians for the release of Griner, who was charged with bringing cannabis into Russia, and former Marine Paul Whelan, who faces espionage charges, which he denies.