WNBA Brittney Griner 2022
The issue involving WNBA Brittney Griner has ‘strengthened,’ according to a Kremlin official. It’s only been a few days since WNBA star Brittney Griner was sent to a Mordovian correctional camp, and for a brief moment, it looked like the odds of a prisoner swap between the US and Russia were growing. The US Department of State, on the other hand, said that Russia is failing to “truly negotiate.”
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“I’m not going to comment on details of any proposal other than to say that we have made a significant offer that the Russian Federation has continually refused to discuss in good faith,” said Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel during a State Department briefing on Friday.
According to Patel, the US administration has continued to follow up on that “significant offer” and has provided “other viable approaches” to proceed with the Russian government. However, he said that Russian officials are not helping as much as the US had hoped on WNBA Brittney Griner release.
“The Russian government’s inability to truly negotiate on these problems via the existing channels, or any other channel for that matter at the WNBA Brittney Griner,” Patel added. “At the end of the day, deeds speak louder than words.”
Patel’s remarks follow Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s statement that he believes the two nations will finally strike an accord with convicted Russian weapons trader Viktor Bout.
“I hope that the potential not only continues but strengthens of WNBA Brittney Griner, and that the day will come when we will have a solid agreement,” Ryabkov told reporters. “The Americans are displaying some exterior activity, and we are working professionally via a dedicated channel. Viktor Bout is one of those being addressed, and we are certain that a favorable outcome will be achieved.”
Griner, a Phoenix Mercury center for the WNBA Brittney Griner, was stopped at Sheremetyevo International Airport on Feb. 17 when police discovered vape cartridges with the marijuana concentrate hashish oil in her baggage. The US authorities proclaimed her “wrongfully held,” but she was convicted guilty on drug charges last summer following a trial. Her request to have her nine-year jail term reduced was denied in October. Here is a detailed explanation of the problem.
In July, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States had made a “serious proposal” for a prisoner swap to send WNBA Brittney Griner back to the United States, although he did not specify who else would be engaged in the transaction. According to many sources, Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan might be part of a deal with Russia in return for Bout, popularly known as “the Merchant of Death.”
Whelan was arrested at a Moscow hotel in December 2018 on espionage charges he has always rejected. In 2020, he was sentenced to 16 years in jail. Bout was captured in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the United States, where he is presently serving a 25-year term.
Alexander Darchiev, chief of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s North America section, verified the Bout rumors to Russian state-owned news agency TASS in August of WNBA Brittney Griner . There haven’t been many current updates on the negotiations, but President Biden said that now that the midterm elections are over, he expects Russian President Vladimir Putin would be more receptive to negotiating Griner’s release.
“My hope is that now that the election is over, Mr. Putin will be able to negotiate with us and be ready to consider a prisoner swap more seriously,” Biden said last week.
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson met with Russian authorities in October to assist arrange Griner and Whelan’s release. Richardson told CNN that he was “cautiously confident” that they will be available before the end of the year. Patel, on the other hand, said on Friday that the dialogue channels established by the two countries “remain to be the best pathways for this to be resolved.”