The top US diplomat said Wednesday that he expected a call with his Russian counterpart this week to discuss a "substantial proposal" presented to Moscow "weeks ago" to try to secure the release of two wrongfully detained Americans – Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.

He also plans to discuss the recently signed agreement to allow Ukrainian grain to transit through the Black Sea.

By the way, Russian energy giant Gazprom has made another cut on gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20% of maximum capacity. US officials say the Biden administration is working to keep European allies united against Russia as fears mount over possible winter gas shortages.