Russia jumped on Friday less than 24 hours after WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for drug possession to offer Washington an immediate prison exchange.
“We are ready to discuss this topic, but within the framework of the channels agreed by President Putin and President Biden,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. according to AFP, despite warnings added to Moscow’s proposal.
“If Americans decide to resort to public diplomacy again…that’s their business, and I’d even say it’s their problem.”
As Breitbart News reported, a judge in Russia convicted U.S. basketball star Greener of drug possession and smuggling on Thursday and sentenced her to nine years in prison.
The Kremlin has previously warned the United States against resorting to “megaphone diplomacy” in the Greener case, saying it would only undermine efforts to secure a potential exchange.
A proposal for diplomatic exchanges is that the Biden administration offers the Kremlin Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, who has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, in exchange for Greener and Paul Whelan, a corporate security chief imprisoned in Russia. . He denies any involvement in espionage.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that President Joe Biden personally signed the agreement to release two-time Olympic gold medalists Greener and Whelan. “The president and his team are willing to take extraordinary steps to bring them home,” Kirby said.
Former President Donald Trump slammed the proposal, calling her a “potentially spoiled person.”
Former President Donald Trump has slammed a proposal to swap WNBA player Britney Greenner with jailed Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, calling her a “potentially spoiled person.” https://t.co/9heJoAtdcg
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 1, 2022
Griner was arrested in Sheremetyevo, Moscow on February 17 with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
Greener, who used medical marijuana in the U.S. to relieve pain from chronic injuries, said she made an honest mistake by accidentally packing marijuana while catching a flight. She pleaded guilty to the changes against her but insisted she had no intention of breaking Russian law.
Marijuana is illegal in Russia for medical and recreational purposes.