Brittney Griner Released From Russian Prison in Prisoner Swap

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner is coming house. The WNBA star, 31, has been launched from a Russian penal colony, President Joe Biden confirmed.

“Moments in the past, I spoke to Brittney Griner,” Biden, 80, tweeted on Thursday, December 8, alongside pictures of himself with Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, and Vice President Kamala Harris within the Oval Workplace. “She is secure. She is on a aircraft. She is on her approach house,” he added.

The Biden administration negotiated the athlete’s launch in change for convicted arms supplier Viktor Bout.

In a press convention in a while Thursday, the president stated that he by no means stopped “pushing” for Griner’s freedom. “It is a day we’ve work in the direction of for a very long time,” Biden informed reporters. “It took intense negotiations and I wish to thank all of the hardworking public servants throughout my administration who labored tirelessly to safe her launch.”

Brittney Griner Released From Russia Prison Joe Biden Cherelle Griner

US President Joe Biden (R) introduces Cherelle Griner (C) after saying that her spouse, Brittney Griner, has been launched from Russia in a prisoner change from the Roosevelt Room of the White Home December 8, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Griner’s change befell within the United Arab Emirates, who the top of state additionally thanked. “These previous few months have been hell for Brittney and Cherelle,” Biden continued. “Folks all throughout the nation have realized about Brittney’s story and advocated for her launch and stood along with her all through this horrible ordeal, and I do know that help meant so much to her household. I’m glad to have the ability to say that Brittney is in good spirits and relieved to lastly be heading house.”

Biden added: “[Brittney] represents the most effective about America. She wrote to me again in July, she didn’t ask for particular therapy, however requested a easy quote, ‘Please don’t neglect about me and the opposite American detainees. Please do all you’ll be able to to deliver us house.’ We by no means forgot about Brittney.”

Brittney Griner Released From Russia Prison 3

Brittney Griner
Evgenia Novozhenina/AP/Shutterstock

The Texas native’s launch comes after a choose discovered Griner responsible of attempting to illegally smuggle narcotics into Russia after authorities discovered vape canisters containing hashish oil in her baggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on February 17. (She was within the nation to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg through the WNBA low season.)

On August 4, she was sentenced to 9 years of jail time and a tremendous of 1 million rubles (roughly $16,400), based on CNN. On the time, Griner had already been in custody for months.

Information of the athlete’s detention was not made public till a number of weeks later.