Russia is ready to talk with the USA about the exchange of prisoners

  • By: Emir Tutic
  • Date: August 9, 2022
  • Time to read: 2 min.

The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergej Lavrov, said that Moscow is ready to talk with Washington about the exchange of prisoners, which would involve the American basketball player Brittney Greiner, through communication channels at the presidential level reporting Danas.

On August 4th, a Russian court sentenced American basketball player Brittney Greiner to nine years in prison for drug possession, a harsh sentence that opens the door for a possible prisoner exchange between Moscow and Washington.

One of the best basketball players in the world was arrested in February because she had cannabis oil with her, which is used for electronic cigarettes, while she was boarding a plane to the USA. Her lawyer Marija Blagovoljina pointed out on Thursday that the famous athlete used that substance because it was recommended to her by a doctor in her homeland.

Greiner pleaded guilty, pointing out that she had cannabis oil that is used for electronic cigarettes with her, but said that she did not intentionally violate Russian laws because she mistakenly packed the cartridges when she came from the US.

“Britney’s doctor gave her recommendations for the use of cannabis oil for medical purposes. The permit she received was issued by the Arizona Department of Health. In addition, Britney was subjected to anti-doping tests and they did not find any illegal substances in her body,” said lawyer Marija Blagovoljina.

US President Joseph Biden considered the verdict against Russian basketball player Brittney Greiner unacceptable and invited Moscow to release her immediately.

“This is unacceptable and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates,” Biden said.

The lawyers of the two-time Olympic gold medalist announced immediately after the verdict that they would file an appeal.

Her teammate from Yekaterinburg, the team captain, as well as the owner of that successful club, testified in favor of the American.

The defense attorneys also presented the information that Greiner developed a friendly relationship with the guards during detention, who spoke on many occasions with her and told her that everything would be fine, while the prosecutor claimed that the American woman deliberately tried to smuggle illegal substances into Russia.

Last week, the head of US diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, and his counterpart, Sergej Lavrov, had their first talks since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Blinken said he lobbied Lavrov to accept Washington’s offer to release Britney Greiner and another American imprisoned in Russia, Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence for espionage.

Several American media channels reported that Britney Greiner and Whelan going to be exchanged for the Russian weapon trader that was imprisoned in the United States, Victor Bout.

Emir Tutić

Emir Tutic

Eastern Europe Reporter

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