A trade for Russian arms dealer Viktor But, possible exit for Brittney Griner

In the first days of May, it became known that the United States government was going to go on the offensive to try to put an end to the detention of basketball player Brittney Griner in Russia.

A trade for Russian arms dealer Viktor But, possible exit for Brittney Griner

In the first days of May, it became known that the United States government was going to go on the offensive to try to put an end to the detention of basketball player Brittney Griner in Russia. The double Olympic champion and seven-time WNBA All Star, she was arrested in February by border authorities for alleged drug trafficking, an accusation that faces charges of up to ten years in prison.

Three months after the Russian authorities arrested the player, a star of Yekaterinburg when he stopped the WNBA, the United States appointed a Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to try to turn the situation around.

Lindsay Kagawa Colas, Griner's agent, confirmed that they hoped "the White House will do whatever it takes to bring her back home."

It seems that this new path opened by the US is beginning to bear fruit, since it has recently become known that both countries are negotiating the exchange of the player for the Russian arms dealer Víktor But, known as the "merchant of death" and serving a 25-year sentence in a US prison after being arrested in Thailand in 2008.

"At the moment negotiations are taking place for the exchange of But for Griner," a member of the Moscow Supervisory Commission, which is responsible for monitoring conditions in Russian prisons, told the TASS agency.

This news comes after former US Marine Trevor Reed, sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for violent acts, was exchanged in late April for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, imprisoned in the US since 2010.

Griner's arrest was due to expire on May 19, but finally a Russian court decided this Friday to extend the detention until June 18.

The Khimki court, on the outskirts of Moscow, "has satisfactorily responded to the request of the investigators and has extended the detention of the American citizen Griner until June 18," said the press service of the judicial body.


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