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Biden celebrates the release of basketball star Brittney Griner in prisoner exchange

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  • Biden has good news about basketball star Brittney Griner.
  • Griner was exchanged for a Russian arms dealer.
  • “The last few months have been hell for Brittney Griner.”

BIDEN HAS GOOD NEWS! Russia released American basketball player Brittney Griner on Thursday in a dramatic prisoner swap in which the United States freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, US officials said.

President Joe Biden said in remarks from the White House that Griner was safe, in American hands and flying back home. “The last few months have been hell for Brittney.” However, Biden said she was in good spirits nonetheless, according to The Associated Press.

Griner’s wife breaks her silence

Basketball player's wife breaks the silence
PHOTO Twitter

Cherelle Griner, the basketball player’s wife, who was present during the presidential announcement declared: «Today my family is whole.» The swap, at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine, achieves an important goal for President Joe Biden, but it came at a heavy price — and left behind an American who has been jailed for nearly four years in Russia.

Griner called for the release of businessman Paul Whelan, and Biden said he was «not forgotten» and will «never give up» efforts to win his release. “We are not forgetting Paul Whelan,” Biden declared. «We will continue to negotiate in good faith to obtain his release,» he added, according to the AP.

Paul Whelan’s brother says he is disappointed

Relative of another prisoner in Russia says he is disappointed
PHOTO Twitter

Whelan’s brother, David, said in a statement that he is «extremely pleased» with Griner’s release, though slightly disappointed on behalf of his family. He thanked the White House for giving the Whelan family advance notice and said they don’t blame the government for the deal.

“The Biden Administration made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible instead of waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen,” he added. The deal, the second exchange with Russia in eight months, led to the release of the most prominent American detained abroad, the AP reported. Viktor Bout was serving a 25-year sentence in the US according to CNN.

Who is Brittney Griner?

Who is Brittney Griner?
PHOTO Twitter

Griner is a two-time Olympic medalist and her imprisonment on drug charges brought unprecedented attention to those being wrongfully detained in Russia, according to the AP. The authorization to release the arms dealer nicknamed “The Merchant of Death” reveals the intense pressure on the US government to win Griner’s freedom, particularly after the recent resolution of her criminal case and transfer to a penal colony.

Russian and US officials had expressed cautious optimism after months of tense negotiations. Biden expressed hope in November that Russia would agree to a deal after the midterm elections. A senior Russian official said last week that a deal could be finalized before the end of the year. Filed Under: Brittney Griner Release

What Biden said about Griner’s release

This is what Biden said about the liberation
PHOTO Twitter

«She’s safe, she’s on a plane. She’s on her way home,” Biden tweeted. He also confirmed that he has spoken with her, according to EFE. Biden said the same words when he appeared at the White House along with Vice President, Kamala Harris, and the athlete’s wife, Cherelle Griner.

The president explained that Griner, who is in «good spirits,» has been released. Biden also wanted to remind other Americans who have been taken «hostage» and «arbitrarily» detained in Russia or in other countries, and assured that they are a «priority» for his administration, according to EFE. Filed Under: Brittney Griner Release

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