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.
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”.
Former President Donald Trump has criticized a proposed plan to swap WNBA player Britney Grenier for imprisoned Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, calling her a “potential spoiler.” https://t.co/9heJoAtdcg
– Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 1, 2022
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.