Biden Administration Offers To Swap Russian Arms Dealer In Exchange For Brittney Griner: Report
The Biden administration has reportedly proposed a deal to swap prisoners with Russia in exchange for WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been detained in the country for months after being found with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil at an airport in Moscow.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Wednesday that the United States has proposed exchanging prisoners to bring home Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan.
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“We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release,” Blinken said. “Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal, and I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, to move us toward a resolution.”
As for who the United States would offer up, CNN reports that three sources have confirmed that Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout is on the table. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 on charges that he planned to illegally sell millions of dollars in weapons.
If convicted, and the US is unable to reach an agreement with Russia, Griner faces up to 10 years in prison. Her legal team hopes that her medical excuse and lack of criminal intent would at least bring her sentence down.