The lawyer for Russian criminal mastermind Alexander Vinnik, accused of laundering more than $4 billion through the digital currency bitcoin, urged Moscow on Monday to begin negotiations with the United States and to include his client in a potential prisoner swap.

In a letter seen by Reuters, a lawyer for Vinnik, who was extradited last month to the U.S. to face money laundering charges, called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to begin swap negotiations with Washington.

"Now the only thing that can save Alexander is for the Russian Federation to enter into negotiations with the American authorities within the framework of the exchange of prisoners between the countries mentioned," the letter from lawyer Frederic Belot said.

Belot said he emailed the letter to the Russian …

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