Report: Russian Open Prisoner Exchange Championship with Brittney Griner


Although Britney Griner’s nine-year prison sentence in Russia does not bode well for her, the United States government is working on her return. And it looks like their efforts may be close to paying off.

The exchange of prisoners for Griner, as well as the imprisoned American Paul Whelan, has been discussed for several months. According to the Associated Press, Russia is now more open to this idea than before.

Speaking to reporters this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the government was “ready to discuss” a prisoner swap for Griner and Whelan. But he made it clear that “public diplomacy” and “loud statements” would not help the case.

“If the Americans try to engage in public diplomacy again and make loud statements about their intention to take certain steps, this is their business, I would even say their problem,” Lavrov said. “Americans often have problems with compliance with agreements on quiet and professional work.”

Britney Griner has been in custody in Russia for more than six months on charges of drug possession. She pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced to nine years in prison this week.

Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested in 2018 and convicted on espionage charges.

There seems to be a glimmer of hope that Griner and Whelan can be brought home.


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