Brittney Griner freed in prisoner exchange: she's returning from Russia

by   |  VIEW 199

Brittney Griner freed in prisoner exchange: she's returning from Russia

Russia has released 32-year-old WNBA women's basketball star Brittney Griner, who has been in custody for 10 months after a nine-year sentence for holding less than a gram of hashish. US President Joe Biden, in agreement with the prisoner exchange, freed 55-year-old arms dealer Viktor Bout, who since 2012 was serving a 25-year sentence.

After the prisoner exchange, Joe Biden told: "Brittney and her family have been through hell, but now she's fine, she's in good spirits and she's going home, even though she will need time to recover from the suffered traumas The president explained that it was not a question of choosing which American to bring home because the Russians treated the Whelan case differently for totally illegitimate reasons and promised that he will not give up efforts to free him.

The promise did not appease his family and Whelan himself, who spoke to CNN and said he was deeply disappointed that more was not done for his release on the eve of the fourth anniversary of his arrest for a crime he has never committe clerk.

Brittney meanwhile landed in Texas following its liberation by Russia as part of a prisoner swap with arms dealer Viktor Bout. Bout had set up a fleet of aircraft that supplied half the world with arms, hardly without the backing of intelligence.

So much so that he seems to be linked to the GRU, the powerful Russian military secret service, and that he has strong ties to Igor Sechin, one of Putin's closest allies. The scene of the swap saw how the detainees were flown in two private planes to Abu Dhabi airport and passed each other on the runway before re-embarking on their way home.

The talks between Russia and the United States on the exchange of Viktor But with Brittney Griner concerned exclusively this issue and it is wrong to draw hypothetical conclusions that this could be a step towards overcoming the crisis we currently have in bilateral relations, said a spokesman for Putin, Dmitri Peskov, in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper taken up by the Interfax agency.