Talks were underway that could have seen Russian dissident Alexei Navalny freed in a prisoner exchange with the U.S. and Germany before his death in an Arctic prison Feb. 16, a Western official said.

Under the proposed agreement, Russia would have released Navalny, as well as two jailed Americans — Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and businessman Paul Whelan — the official said, asking for anonymity to discuss matters that aren’t public. In return, Germany would have released Vadim Krasikov, a Russian with links to the Kremlin’s Federal Security Service (FSB) who’s serving a life sentence in Germany for the 2019 killing of a former Chechen rebel in a Berlin park.

Now that Navalny is dead, the chances of a swap deal for Krasikov are essentially zero, a person familiar with the situation said, noting that Chancellor Olaf Scholz had been skeptical of the idea of an exchange for the convicted murderer even before he died.