US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates was involved in the release of Brittney Griner from Russia in a prisoner swap.
Mr Biden thanked the United Arab Emirates for “helping us facilitate Brittney’s return because that’s where she landed” before returning to the United States.
Mr Biden said the basketball star would return home within the next 24 hours.
American athlete Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February and sentenced to nine years in prison in August after police found e-cigarette capsules containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Last month, the woman’s lawyers confirmed that she had been transferred to a settlement in the central region of Mordovia.
Griner was traded for Russian arms dealer Viktor Buta, according to US officials.
With this exchange, President J. Biden achieved one of his most important goals amid tensions over Ukraine, but the Americans had to pay a heavy price – the exchange did not include the American Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, who was arrested in Russia in December 2018 and charged with espionage.
However, “we are not giving up, we will never give up,” assured Mr. Biden.
Moscow confirmed on Thursday that it had swapped American basketball star Griner, imprisoned in Russia, for notorious arms dealer V. Buta, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.
Source: The Delfi