There are talks of Brittney Griner being involved in a trade but not for the WNBA. The Biden Administration has come up with a plan to get Griner back to the U.S. They have offered to trade convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for U.S citizens Paul Whellan and Griner with Russia, CNN reported.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this plan was presented to Russia a few weeks ago. Joe Biden backed this plan even though the Department of Justice isn’t a fan of prisoner trades. At a news conference at the State Department, Blinken said “in terms of the President, of course he was not only directly involved, he signs off on any proposal that we make, and certainly when it comes to Americans who are being arbitrarily detained abroad, including in this specific case.”
A Kremlin spokesman named Dmitry Peskov told CNN that “so far, there is no agreement on this issue.” Another official, who didn’t reveal their name, said that Moscow has not been responsive to the proposed offer.
“We start all negotiations to bring home Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained with a bad actor on the other side,” they said. “We start all of these with somebody who has taken a human being American and treated them as a bargaining chip. So in some ways, it’s not surprising, even if it’s disheartening, when those same actors don’t necessarily respond directly to our offers, don’t engage constructively in negotiations.”
While detained in Russia, Brittney Griner has missed some milestone moments with her family and teammates. She missed the WNBA All-Star Weekend. She wasn’t able to attend her wife Cherelle Griner’s law school graduation. While speaking with a Good Morning America reporter recently, she wished her wife “good luck on the bar exam.”
Griner pled guilty to drug charges in Russian court on July 7. She is facing up to 10 years in prison.