August 12, 2022


Russia jumped Friday less than 24 hours after WNBA star Britney Grenier was sentenced to nine years in prison for drug possession for offering an immediate prisoner exchange to Washington.

“We are ready to discuss this issue, but within the framework of the channel that was agreed upon between Presidents Putin and Biden,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. to me AFP, although a warning was added to the proposal from Moscow.

“If the Americans decide to resort again to public diplomacy…that is their business and I would even say their problem.”

As Breitbart News reported, a judge in Russia convicted NBA star Greiner of drug possession and smuggling Thursday and sentenced her to nine years in prison.

US Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Greiner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, awaits sentencing inside a cage for defendants during a hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4.  , 2022. - A Russian court finds Grenier guilty of drug smuggling and hoarding after prosecutors requested a nine-and-a-half-year prison sentence for the athlete.  (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Grenier waits for the verdict inside the defendant’s cage during a hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, August 4, 2022 (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Connecticut Sun and Phoenix Mercury players tie their arms for 42 seconds in honor of Phoenix Mercury center Britney Grenier before the WNBA basketball game Thursday, August 4, 2022 in Uncasville, Connecticut.  He was sentenced to nine years in prison.  (Sarah Gordon/Today via The Associated Press)

Players with the Connecticut Sun and Phoenix Mercury tie their arms for 42 seconds in honor of Phoenix Mercury Center Brittney Griner before the WNBA basketball game Thursday, August 4, 2022 in Uncasville, Conn. (Sarah Gordon / The Day via AP)

The Kremlin had earlier warned the US against resorting to “megaphone diplomacy” in the Greiner case, saying it would only derail efforts to secure a potential trade-off.

Among the diplomatic exchange proposals is for the Biden administration to offer convicted Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, who has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in the United States, in exchange for Greiner and corporate security executive Paul Whelan, who had been imprisoned in Russia for alleged espionage he denies.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that President Joe Biden personally signed the deal to release Greiner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Whelan. “The president and his team are prepared to take extraordinary steps to bring them home,” Kirby said.

Former President Donald Trump criticized the proposal, calling her a “potential spoiler”.

Greiner was arrested February 17 in Sheremetyevo, Moscow, with e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

Greiner, who was prescribed medical cannabis in the United States to relieve pain from chronic injuries, said she made the honest mistake of inadvertently packing it as she jogged for her flight. She pleaded guilty to her changes but insisted she had no intention of breaking Russian law.

Cannabis is illegal in Russia for medicinal and recreational purposes.

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