US authorities have said they have made a “substantial” offer and intend to take “extraordinary” measures to exchange American former UMMC basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained for drug smuggling. This was stated by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“As far as Brittney Griner is concerned, we are going to take extraordinary measures to get her back home. We have put a substantial proposal on the table. We intend to continue this intergovernmental dialogue,” the White House press secretary said.
Earlier, Jean-Pierre said that the United States agreed to the ultimatum put forward by Russia on the exchange of Greiner and Paul Whelan, convicted of spying on Russian businessman Viktor Bout (sentenced in the United States to 25 years in prison for arms trafficking – ed.). Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that negotiations on the exchange of athletes should take place through a “special channel agreed upon by the presidents” of Russia and the United States.
The former UMMC basketball player was detained in March at Sheremetyevo Airport, illegal drugs were found in her luggage. The court sentenced Brittney Greiner to nine years in prison for drug smuggling. The American at the hearing pleaded guilty.