Over the past month, there have been many public figures who have stated they would like to help to negotiate Brittney Griner’s potential release from Russia. The latest came former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson traveling to Moscow to meet with Russian leadership amid efforts to negotiate the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, according to reports.
The Biden administration would like for these people to stop.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby issued a statement this week asking outside forces to not interfere with this situation.
“Our message is that private citizens should not be in Moscow at all right now and that private citizens cannot negotiate on behalf of the United States government,” Kirby said, via ABC.
They believe that outside interference could potentially complicate Griner’s release from Russia.
“Our concern is that anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to hinder the efforts that we have undertaken to see the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner,” Ned Price said.
Griner was convicted and given a nine-year prison sentence last month after police said in February that they found vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis in her luggage at a Moscow airport.
The WNBA star contended she made “an honest mistake” when she brought vape cartridges through the airport, adding, “I hope in your ruling it does not end my life.”
The U.S. State Department has maintained that Griner was wrongfully detained and offered a “substantial proposal” for her release, as well as that of another jailed American, Paul Whelan.