Russia releases Brittney Griner in exchange for Viktor Bout

American basketball star Brittney Griner, who was imprisoned in Russia, has been released by the Putin administration in exchange for the freedom of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who had been jailed in a US prison for 12 years.

American President Joe Biden had made Brittney Griner’s release a top priority after she had spent 10 months in a Russian prison on drug charges.

Issuing a statement from the White House, President Joe Biden said that he found the American basketball star in high spirits when he spoke to her after the prisoner swap which took place in Abu Dhabi.

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President Biden said that Griner is safe and is on her way back to the United States after her months-long unjust detention in Russia.

However, President Joe Biden expressed regret over the fact that the deal did not include the release of Paul Whelan, an American corporate security executive jailed in Russia since 2018 on espionage charges.

Joe Biden said that sadly, for totally illegitimate reason, the Russian government is treating Paul Whelan’s case completely different than Brittney Griner’s.

However, he said, that despite encountering failure in securing Paul’s release, the US has not given up on him. ‘We will never give up’, President Biden added.

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