Brittney Griner: Russia ‘ready to discuss’ prisoner swap as star jailed for nine years
Just one day after Brittney Griner was jailed, Russia has begun to budge about a possible prisoner swap to secure the queer basketball player’s freedom.
On Thursday (4 August), Moscow’s Khimki Court handed a nine-year sentence to the two-time US Olympic gold medallist for attempting to smuggle illegal drugs with criminal intent. It left Griner likely facing her jail time in a forced labour camp.
But Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Friday that the Kremlin is ready to hold talks with the White House about potentially exchanging Griner, as well as US Marine Paul Whelan, for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Whelan was convicted of espionage and jailed for 16 years in 2020, after Russian authorities claimed he was caught with a flash