Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian penal colony in a deal between Russia and the United States.
According to the Associated Press (AP), in exchange for Griner’s release, the United States will be releasing Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer that was serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. Such a deal was attempted back in July, but it also included the release of Paul Whelan, a Michigan-based security executive who was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian prison on accusations of espionage. Whelan is still in Russian custody.
President Joe Biden shared via Twitter, “Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.”
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
Griner was arrested in February when cannabis vape cartridges were found in her luggage while going through customs at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. She was in the country to play basketball during the WNBA offseason.