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WNBA star Brittney Griner released in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.


Date: 09-12-2022
Subject: WNBA star Brittney Griner released in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout
Russian authorities freed American basketball player Brittney Griner in exchange for the release of international arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The high-level prisoner swap, which took place at a time of rising tensions over Ukraine, allowed US President Joe Biden to achieve his administration’s top priority.

The arrangement, which marked the second such swap with Russia in eight months, secured the release of the most well-known American held overseas.

She was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February when customs officers allegedly discovered vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. After entering a guilty plea in July, she eventually admitted to having the canisters in court. However, she said that she didn't have any malicious intent and that she had packed her bags in a hurry, which is why they were there.

After speaking with Griner, President Joe Biden claims that she is "safe" and "on her way home." According to official sources at the Russian Foreign Ministry, the swap occurred at the airport in Abu Dhabi. For over two decades, Viktor Bout was one of the most infamous arms traffickers in the world, supplying weapons to violent warlords and rebel groups in South America, Africa and Asia.

The release of a Russian felon formerly known as "the Merchant of Death" highlighted the mounting pressure on the Biden administration to bring back Griner. This was especially clear given that her criminal case had just ended and she had been sent to a penal colony.

The fact that the swap took place amid deteriorating US-Russian ties shows how the arrest of Americans led to a unique diplomatic breakthrough and the highest-level known communication between Washington and Moscow.

Brittney Griner was detained on suspicion of attempting to enter a Moscow airport with vape cartridges containing cannabis-derived oils in February.

US authorities detained Russian arms trader Viktor Bout in 2008.

Source Name:-Economic Times

 

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