Brittney Griner prisoner swap gets shocking update from Russia
President Joe Biden recently assured that the US government is doing their best to bring WNBA star Brittney Griner back, but Russia seems to suggest that is not the case.
Griner remains detained in Russia to serve her nine-year sentence for possession and smuggling of cannabis. However, the US and Moscow have been reportedly in talks in recent months for a potential prisoner swap. The said swap could include Griner and US Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan in return for arms dealer and the so-called “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout.
No specific details have been mentioned with regards to the the prisoner swap, but Russia is blaming the US embassy in Moscow for the slow progress of the talks. According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the institution is “not fulfilling its official duties” with regards to the situation.
“We have stated many times that we are ready for negotiations to resolve the fate of U.S. citizens convicted in Russia and Russian citizens in the U.S.,” Zakharova said, via Yahoo.
That is certainly not the update that people want to hear about Brittney Griner. The WNBA player has been detained in Russia since February and was convicted on the drug charges in August.
In an interview with People early this September, one of Griner’s lawyers, Maria Blagovolina, shared that the athlete was “devastated” with the ruling. She was also “very upset and she’s honestly quite shocked.” Nonetheless, she expressed optimism after the US revealed at the time their talks on the prisoner swap.
Hopefully the issue gets resolved soon. After all, a lot of people are awaiting what happens to Griner amid concerns about her safety in foreign land.