US offers prisoner swap to get Griner out of Russia | basketball

The United States has made a prisoner exchange offer to try to get basketball player Brittney Griner out of Russia and back to American territory. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the country made a “substantial” offer to exchange prisoners with the Europeans.

The Americans suggested sending Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer nicknamed “The Dealer of Death” whose story was based on the movie “Lord of Arms”, according to CNN television network, in exchange for Griner and Paul Whelan, a citizen. American arrested in 2018 on espionage charges.

Brittney Griner — Photo: Pavel Pavlov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Blinken said he will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss the negotiations. This was the first public statement by the United States admitting the possibility of negotiating a prisoner exchange.

“My hope is that, in the conversation with Minister Lavrov, I will be able to advance the efforts to bring them home,” Antony said.

Also according to the Secretary of State, President Joe Biden was directly involved in the talks and signed the official proposal aimed at Moscow.

Griner went to court for the sixth time on Wednesday in a trial that began on July 1. She was arrested for drug possession while carrying vape pods containing marijuana. According to the athlete, she uses the substances to treat pain and injuries. If convicted, Brittney Griner could face 10 years in prison in Russia.

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