Russia, United States alternate prisoners Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout –

Moscow and Washington exchanged American basketball participant Brittney Griner, detained in Russia for hashish trafficking, for Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who served a 25-year sentence in the US, primarily for arms trafficking.

“On December 8, 2022, an alternate passed off on the Abu Dhabi airport between Russian citizen Viktor Bout and American citizen Brittney Griner, who had been serving time in penal establishments in the US, respectively. Russian Federation,” the Russian Ministry of International Affairs said in an announcement dated December 8.

Equally, US President Joe Biden tweeted: “I spoke with Brittney Griner a number of moments in the past. She is protected. She’s on the airplane. She’s on her method dwelling.”

The US head of state additionally clarified that Washington has not but succeeded in releasing Paul Whelanun, a former US soldier whom Moscow considers a high-ranking intelligence officer in a spying mission. His identify has been talked about in current months in reference to prisoner alternate negotiations between Russia and the US.

Lengthy negotiations

In keeping with Russian diplomacy, Moscow “has been conducting a means of negotiations with the US for a very long time” to acquire its nationwide liberation. “Washington has categorically rejected any dialogue on the inclusion of the Russians within the alternate scheme; However, the Russian Federation continued to actively work for the discharge of our compatriot”, confirms the Russian Ministry of International Affairs. From the identical supply, Viktor Bout returned to his nation of origin. Throughout a press convention on the White Home, Joe Biden confirmed that the United Arab Emirates “helped [the United States] facilitate the discharge of Brittney”, specifying that it was on this nation that the basketball participant landed.

Allow us to recall that Moscow and Washington have been discussing the alternate of prisoners during which Viktor Bout and Brittney Griner participated for a number of months. Russia has repeatedly criticized Washington for public statements about these negotiations whereas they had been in progress.

In November, the 32-year-old skilled basketball participant was transferred to a penal colony in Russia to serve a nine-year sentence for drug trafficking. Final February, she was arrested on the Moscow airport with a vaporizer containing liquid hashish.

Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and is serving a 25-year sentence in the US, particularly for arms trafficking. He was detained on this nation for greater than ten years.

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