The ongoing detention of Brittney Griner in Russia aroused media and public interest on a global scale. The US is fearful for Griner’s safety following her detention in February for trying to smuggle hashish oil into Russia at a time when Russia was invading Ukraine. Biden administration finally made an offer to Russia for release of the WNBA star.
According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Biden administration has approached Russia with a proposal to free Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan who are now detained there. Blinken also stated that he anticipates speaking with his Kremlin counterpart for the first time since before Russia invaded Ukraine, reversing past policy dramatically.
The WNBA player and Olympian Griner, who was detained on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February and testified Wednesday at her trial, has been fighting for her release for months. However, the U.S. government has only now made public any concrete steps it has taken to secure her release.
According to Bleacher Report the United States “put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago.” When he speaks with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, he stated he will demand the release of Griner. It is unclear if the planned bargain, which was made weeks ago, will be sufficient for Russia to release the Americans. Blinken did not provide any details.
In court this month, Griner, who has been held in Russian custody for the past month, admitted that she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage when she arrived in Moscow in February. However, she maintains that she had no malicious intent and packed the cartridges unintentionally.
The government is under increasing pressure to bring Griner and Whelan home, as evidenced by its public acceptance of the offer at a time when the United States has generally avoided Russia. Stay tuned to Thirsty to get latest updates on this developing story.
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