Brittney Griner was given a nine-year jail term in Russia on drugs charges ©Getty Images

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has indicated the Kremlin is open to a prisoner swap involving Olympic basketball champion Brittney Griner - who was sentenced to nine years in prison this week - but insisted discussions take place in private.

"If the Americans once again decide to resort to public diplomacy and to make loud announcements that they plan to take some steps, then that is their business, and I would even say, their problem," Lavrov said, as reported by Russian state news agency TASS.

"The Americans often do not comply with agreements on a quiet professional work on this and many other topics."

Lavrov was speaking at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting also attended by the Untied States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, with whom he has already discussed a prisoner swap involving Griner.

Blinken claims the US has sent Russia a "substantial proposal" widely reported to centre on exchanging convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, who is Russian, for Griner and Paul Whelan, a US citizen imprisoned in Russia on espionage convictions.

Lavrov's comments are his first on the mater since Griner was convicted on drugs charges on Thursday (August 4).

The US considers the two-time Olympic gold medallist and double world champion "wrongfully detained" and President Joe Biden branded Griner's jail term "unacceptable".

Brittney Griner won women's basketball gold medals at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
Brittney Griner won women's basketball gold medals at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

Griner was arrested at an airport near Moscow in February - shortly prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine - accused of being in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil.

The 31-year-old was flying to Russia to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg of the Russian Premier League, a club she has represented since 2014.

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the Women's National Basketball Association are among the organisations to have called for her release and in the US, President Biden has faced growing pressure to do more to secure Griner's freedom.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said it was a matter for the USOPC, when asked previously about Griner's detention.

Lavrov and Blinken did not discuss a prisoner swap at the ASEAN meeting, according to Lavrov, who dismissed a notion Blinken would "bottonhole" him.

"I did not see that he was interested in buttonhole me or whatever, all my buttons are intact," Lavrov said, per TASS.

Bout, nicknamed the "Merchant of Death", is serving a 25-year jail term having been convicted on four counts of conspiracy to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles and providing material support to a terrorist organisation.