The USA has finally offered a deal to Russia that would be aimed at getting back Brittney Griner, the WNBA star, and Paul Whelan, from a Russian prison.
This was mentioned by Anthony Blinken, the Secretary of the State. In what seemed to be quite a sharp reversal of the previous policy, Blinken also stated that he expected to speak to this counterpart at the Kremlin for the first time since Russia decided to invade Ukraine. The statement definitely marked the first time where the government in the United States publicly spoke about any concrete action that it could take to secure the release of the Basketball player. As it has been mentioned previously, Griner was arrested on drug-related charges at an airport in Moscow back in February, and then testified on Wednesday at her trial.
The USA Has Offered A Deal To Free Brittney Griner
Nevertheless, Blinken definitely did not offer any details of this proposed deal to free Brittney Griner, which was offered weeks ago. Also, it seems pretty unclear if it would be enough for Russia to release the Americans. But the public acknowledgment of such a deal does reflect the pressure that is currently on the American government to free Griner and Whelan and get them home as soon as possible.
The Secretary of State also stated that Washington would like to receive a response from Moscow. For several years now, Russia has expressed an interest in the release of Viktor Bout- an arms dealer. The Russian death merchant was sentenced to 25 years in prison back in 2012- on charges that he illegally planned on selling millions of dollars in weapons.
Brittney Griner, who has been in Russian custody over the last five months, did publicly acknowledge in court this month that he had several vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage when she arrived in Moscow back in February.