On Friday, Russian media provided a huge update on a potential prisoner swap involving WNBA star Brittney Griner, but not everybody agrees. Russia is apparently targeting an exchange that involves Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout.
“The Americans are showing some external activity, we are working professionally through a special channel designed for this,” Ryabkov said. “Viktor Bout is among those who are being discussed, and we certainly count on a positive result.“
However, the United States would later release their own statement that stated Russia hasn’t been negotiating in good faith.
“We are not going to comment on the specifics of any proposals other than to say that we have made a substantial offer that the Russian Federation has consistently failed to negotiate in good faith,” the statement reads.
“The Russian government’s failure to seriously negotiate on these issues in the established channel, or any other channel for that matter, runs counter to its public statements,” the statement continued.
ESPN notes that Griner’s family is confident the Biden administration is working to bring the WNBA star home. Griner has reportedly been transferred to Female Penal Colony IK-2 in Yavas, which is roughly 300 miles southeast of Moscow, where she is expected to serve out a nine-year prison sentence for drug smuggling. Her appeal was denied last month.
Griner has been stuck in Russia ever since she was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow Feb. 17 after Russian officials said she was carrying vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Despite pleading guilty to the charges, the two-time Olympic gold medalist claimed she did not mean to break the law.