On Thursday, the release of American basketball star Brittney Griner has been secured by The White House. President Joe Biden announced confirming that the U.S. sent arms trafficker Viktor Bout to Russia in exchange.
The president said from the White House that, “Moments ago, standing together with her wife, Cherelle, in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner.” Adding,“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances.”Vice President Kamala Harris and Cherelle Griner stood behind Biden during the announcement. They were also in the room for his Oval Office call.
Why Griner was arrested?
Griner was arrested by the Russian authorities arrested in February for possession of vape cartridges containing hash oil. The prisoner swap, conducted at Abu Dhabi airport, ends a brutal 10 months for Griner. In August, she was sentenced to nine years in prison and was recently sent to a penal colony 300 miles outside of Moscow. also read:-Arsenal Winners: Vieira sparkles and Hein saves FOUR penalties!
Griner is on the way to a medical facility for a routine evaluation in San Antonio.The news is bittersweet for the family of Paul Whelan. He is a former U.S. Marine held in Russia since 2018 on unproven charges of espionage. On Wednesday, his family was given notice by the administration that Whelan was not part of the deal.
It took months for the Biden administration to trade Griner and Whelan. Why?
It took months for the Biden administration to trade both Griner and Whelan for Bout. But, the Russian position was that there could only be a one-for-one deal. First, Moscow wanted the U.S. to release a Russian spy in exchange for Whelan. But, the American position has long been that it doesn’t have such a person in custody. A U.S. official said that the Russians then asked for another person who was in German custody .
When asked about the Russian stance on Sunday, Blinken told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “the other side gets a vote in this. It’s not just what we want. It’s what they’re prepared to do.”
The Biden administration hoped to secure Griner’s release by Christmas. Griner was expected to be stateside within the next 24 hours. Earlier, Biden previously indicated an openness to discuss a prisoner exchange directly with Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. But, the Kremlin boss never agreed to such a conversation.Biden said he hoped Russia would be more willing to strike a deal after the midterms.