(Update) Russian officials have confirmed discussions to swap Brittany Griner

Eight days after he was sentenced to 9.5 years in a Russian prison, the country confirmed that the first discussions are underway to swap Brittany Griner and another US prisoner, Paul Whelan.

Washington Post reports That the Russian authorities confirmed the announcement on Thursday.

Brittany Griner's trial in Russia will begin on Friday - if found guilty, she will face up to 10 years
(Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP) (Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images)

Discussions are being held through a channel President Biden and Putin agreed to back in June last year.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechayev said:

Instructions were given to operate the authorized structures Conversation, ”said Nechayev. “They are being operated by the competent authorities.”

Russia said it was open to talks about a prisoner swap Last week But reiterated that they would reject the prisoner swap if the US continues to discuss the details.

Biden told White House reporters he “hopes” to bring Brittany Griner back home and “we’re working hard”.

Why did the Russian authorities arrest Paul Whelan?

Authorities arrested Whelan in 2018 and convicted him of spying in 2020. Whelan said someone had implicated him, and the US says he was “wrongly detained.”

Brittany Griner’s sentence

On Thursday, a Russian court found Brittany Griner guilty of drug trafficking and attempted possession.

According to CNN, Guilty verdict says Britney had criminal intent When he tried to enter the country carrying less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in his luggage.

Before sentencing, Russian prosecutor asked the court To consider giving the WNBA star 9.5 years into his finale. Shortly after news of the verdict broke, Brittany’s lawyers confirmed that the Russian court had accepted prosecutors’ request. As a result, Griner received nine years In a penal colony, Peru new York Times. Additionally, the judge fined Britney approximately $16,300—one million rubles.

Rumis, what do you think about this?


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