Advertising

Biden criticizes Russia for Brittney Griner’s 9-year sentence

'I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates,' says US president

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

US President Joe Biden sharply denounced a Russian court’s decision Thursday to sentence WNBA star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison.

Biden said the sentence is “one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.”

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates,” he said in a statement. “My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

Read more: Russia Ukraine War: What are the lessons for Pakistan?

His comments came after a Russian judge earlier Thursday found Griner guilty of drug possession and smuggling, and sentenced her to nine years in prison. Griner has been in Russian custody since February when she was arrested after flying to the country to compete in a basketball game.

Griner pleaded guilty in July to drug charges but has maintained she used medicinal cannabis to treat pain and denied she intended to violate Russian law.

The US has put forward what it says is a “significant proposal” for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan, another American who has been imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges.

The US has not offered details about its proposal but CNN reported Wednesday that the Biden administration offered to swap convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for the two Americans.

Bout is serving a 25-year prison sentence and the Justice Department has voiced opposition to the potential exchange, according to CNN.

The news network reported that the Russians have demanded that the US include a former colonel of Russia’s spy agency, FSB, in any potential swap for Griner and Whelan.

The request to free convicted murderer Vadim Krasikov, in addition to Bout, was made earlier this month.

Read more: China to test hypersonic DF-17 missiles in Taiwan blockade drill

Krasikov was convicted by a German court in 2021 of murdering a former Chechen fighter in Berlin. He remains in prison in Germany.

The Biden administration “did not view it as a legitimate counter to the US’ offer,” according to the CNN report.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk

Continue reading

Honda predicts tough times for auto industry in the future

HACL claimed that the US currency rate increases are mostly to blame for the price increases. It was noted that raw commodities account for 90% of overall costs, with dollar rate swings affecting 60–70% of them.

Famous British rapper Dutchavelli embraces Islam

Dutchavelli, real name Stephen Fabulous Allen, started his career in 2016. He rose to prominence with ‘New Jack City. A firearm case jeopardized his career in 2018. The rapper was released on license.

US donates 36 vehicles to strengthen KPK health department

Ambassador of the United States to Pakistan Donald Blome handed over the vehicles to KPK health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra.