Brittney Griner administration’s efforts in securing Griner’s release?

Russia and the USA have swapped Brittney Griner, a US basketball player, for Viktor Bout (a notorious arms dealer), who has been held for 12 years in an American prison.

President Joe Biden stated that Griner was safe and flying home from the United Arab Emirates.

He said, “I’m glad that Brittney is in good spirits… She needs time and space for recovery,” he stated at the White House.

Griner was detained at Moscow’s airport in February for possessing marijuana oil. He was then sent to a penal colony last month.

Last July, the Biden administration offered a prisoner swap to Moscow. This was in recognition of Bout’s long-standing demand for Bout’s freedom.

The swap was confirmed by Russia’s foreign ministry, which said that it took place at Abu Dhabi airport. It said that the Russian citizen had been “returned to his homeland” in a statement. However, it was not clear if he arrived on Russian soil.

Russian news agencies reported that he was being flown to Vnukovo, near Moscow.

Griner’s wife Cherelle spoke in the Oval Office and praised the Biden administration’s efforts in securing Griner’s release. “I’m just here overwhelmed by emotions.”

President Biden signed an order for Bout to be released as part of the prisoner swap. This commutated his 25-year sentence.

Viktor Bout was a warlord and rogue government soldier who became one of the most wanted men in the world.

The “merchant of Death” for gun-running during the Soviet Union’s fall, the Russian was the inspiration behind the 2005 Hollywood movie Lord of War. It was loosely based upon his life.

In 2008, a US operation brought an end to his secretive career. He was taken into custody at a Bangkok hotel. This angered the Russian government.

Two years later, he was extradited and has been languishing in a US jail for conspiring against terrorists and killing Americans for the past twelve years.

Bout’s situation could not be more different than that of his prisoner swap partner.

Brittney Griner (31), is one of America’s most well-known athletes.

She is a star centre in the WNBA for Phoenix Mercury during the US basketball season. She flew to Moscow to play in Russia in the off-season. Her Russian trial heard that she had made an honest mistake when she found cannabis oil in her bag.

,President Biden was pictured with Griner’s wife Cherelle and Secretary of State Antony Blinken looking on

In a tweet, President Biden shared a photo from the Oval Office with Griner’s wife Cherelle.

“Moments ago, I spoke with Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is in a plane. He wrote that she was on her way back.

During the summer, negotiations began to secure Griner’s release. The US made it clear that they wanted ex-marine Paul Whelan released as well. Whelan was accused by Russia of spying but was not included in the prisoner swap.

At the Oval Office, President Biden stated that Russia was treating his case in a different way than Griner’s because it had completely illegitimate motives. He declared, “While we haven’t yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release, we haven’t given up; we won’t give up,”

David Whelan, Whelan’s brother, praised Griner for his release and stated that US officials had informed the family in advance about Paul Whelan being excluded from the exchange.

He stated that “It’s obvious the US government needs be more assertive.” “If Russia and other bad actors are trying to seize innocent Americans, the US must respond quickly and more directly.”

Biden warned Americans that they should take extra precautions when traveling overseas and warned them of the possibility of being detained illegally by foreign governments.


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