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The release of American basketball player Brittney Grenier

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Russian authorities have released American basketball player Brittney Grenier after 10 months in prison. The young woman was handed over to the US authorities in exchange for the release of the famous arms dealer, Victor Bout.

The United States conducted a prisoner exchange with Russia. The American basketball player was detained for ten months in Russia Brittney Griner He was handed over to the US authorities in exchange for the arms dealer’s release Victor Botknown as the “Death Dealer”.

The US president said the exchange took place in the United Arab Emirates Joe Biden At a press conference at the White House. Joe Biden told reporters that Brittney Grenier will soon be among his staff.

Soon after the news broke, US President A.J Twitter message “A few moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way back.”

The Russian authorities arrested Brittney Griner last February after discovering hashish in her bag upon her arrival to Russian soil to play basketball. She was later sentenced to nine years in a penal colony for several drug charges. The United States considered that the basketball player was unjustly imprisoned, and her arrest coincided with the complete deterioration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Viktor Bout was serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States for selling weapons to a group designated as terrorist by Washington. The Kremlin said last month that it expected a “positive” outcome from the talks on the exchange deal between Viktor Bout and Brittney Grenier.

Former US Navy Paul Whelan He is now the only known American imprisoned in Russia. Trevor ReedRussia released a war veteran last April in exchange for a cocaine smuggler. At a press conference on Thursday, Joe Biden said that releasing Brittney Grenier, but not Paul Whelan, was not “a choice of which Americans to go home,” saying Russia handled the situation differently. . »

After the announcement of the release of Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan’s twin brother, David Whelanto me announce that this situation was a “disaster for Paul” and a “general disappointment” for the family. Nevertheless, he asserted, the White House made the “right decision” in its report to “make the deal possible, rather than wait in vain for a new deal.” »

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Derek Saul

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