the government of United States offered to Russia an agreement to repatriate basketball player Brittney Griner, detained in Moscow since February for entering the country with cannabis oil in her luggage. The offer was revealed this Wednesday by Antony BlinkenUS Secretary of State, without further details, but American press vehicles, such as CNN it’s the New York Timesreported that it was proposed to exchange Griner for a Russian arms dealer.
The criminal in question is Viktor Bout, who has been imprisoned in the United States since 2012. Known as the “Merchant of Death”, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison after making millions by selling weapons illegally. The Russian government has been trying to bring Bout back to the country for years. According to the American press, President Joe Biden supported the initiative, not least because he has been under a lot of pressure to solve the case. In addition to Griner, who is at risk of a 10-year sentence, the country is trying to repatriate Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive sentenced to 16 years in prison in Russia for espionage.
In Wednesday’s speech, the Biden administration’s first public statement on the situation, Blinken said he was looking forward to a positive response from the Russians. Despite being in frequent contact with the Russian government, the secretary will speak for the first time with Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.
“We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate the release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly regarding this proposal, and I will use the dialogue to personally follow up and hopefully move us towards a resolution,” the statement said. American secretary.
According to Russian authorities, Brittney Griner was caught in possession of an electronic cigarette loaded with hash oil, a derivative of marijuana, at Moscow-Sheremetievo International Airport. In testimony, the athlete explained that she was given permission by an American doctor to use medical cannabis for the purpose of relieving the pain of her many injuries.
Griner said he believes he mistakenly put the substance in his suitcase while making travel arrangements in a hurry. The player’s defense also argued that the athlete may have had memory loss because she suffered a virulent form of covid-19. The act took place on February 17, about a week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The recreational use of cannabis is permitted in Arizona, the US state in which the player operates.
Who is Brittney Griner?
Brittney Griner, 31, was a 2014 WNBA champion for the Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic champion for the United States (at the Rio-2016 and Tokyo-2020 Games). Brittney Griner is the woman with the most dunks in women’s league history, with 17 in the regular season, five in the All-Star Game and once in the playoffs.
Even though she is considered one of the greatest players in history, the athlete was in the country to participate in the Russian basketball season, for UMMC Ekaterinburg. It is common for American players to participate in other leagues during the WNBA offseason. This is mainly due to low wages. While men’s basketball stars Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Kevin Durant earn about $40 million a year, the women’s league cap is around $228,000. 1 million) per season.