After sentencing Brittney Griner to 9 years in jail, Russia is reportedly ready to discuss a potential prisoner swap.
Earlier this week Brittney Griner’s trial in Russia over drug possession ended with her receiving a 9-year sentence. Not the outcome anyone hoped for especially with Brittney pleading guilty and being remorseful for her actions. The entire situation has been weird from the start with her arrest and felt very calculated on Russia’s behalf. During her wait for trial, many urged President Biden to do whatever it takes to get her home and after her conviction, Russia is reportedly ready to talk prisoner swaps.
Russia Reportedly Ready For Prisoner Swap Talks With The United States.
According to CNN, Russia is now reportedly ready to discuss a prisoner swap to free Brittney Griner back into US custody. Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov revealed the Kremlin is “ready to discuss this topic, but within the framework of the channel that has been agreed by the presidents,” state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
“There is a specified channel that has been agreed upon by [Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden], and no matter what anyone says publicly, this channel will remain in effect,” Lavrov reportedly said Friday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the same summit that the US will “pursue” talks with Russia. Russia wants the talks to stay out of the public eye and honestly if that’s what it takes it’s exactly what the US should do. Russia also has requested that a former colonel from its spy agency, who also was convicted of murder in Germany be included in the swap. This is in addition to notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout. The US ideally would receive Griner and Paul Whelan a US citizen who has been detained since 2018. Hopefully, both can be back home sooner rather than later.