By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – U.S. President Joe Biden says American basketball star Brittney Griner is safe and on a plane home from the United Arab Emirates after being released from a Russian jail.
She was exchanged for notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, held in an American prison for 12 years.
“I’m glad to say Brittney’s in good spirits… she needs time and space to recover,” Biden announced Thursday.
She was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for possessing cannabis oil and last month sent to a penal colony in what critics viewed as a politically motivated sentence amid the worst East-West tensions in recent memory over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration reportedly proposed a prisoner exchange in July, as Moscow had long sought Bout’s release.
The elaborate swap involved two private planes bringing the pair to Abu Dhabi airport from Moscow and Washington, respectively, and then flying them home, sources said.
They were seen walking past each other on the airport tarmac.
Moscow claimed that justice had been done. “The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland,” the Russian foreign ministry stressed.
Speaking in the Oval Office, Griner’s wife Cherelle praised the Biden administration in securing her release: “I’m just standing here overwhelmed with emotions.”
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