Brittney Griner and her ongoing Russia ordeal might soon be coming to an end according to a new report. The Biden administration is moving ahead to enter talks with Russia in hopes to exchange Griner and another American with a jailed Russian operative.
At a press briefing on Wednesday (July 27), Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave some insight into the United States’ plans to secure the freedom of Brittany Griner while walking the delicate tightrope of international negotiations.
From the transcript of the briefing:
In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us: the release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who have been wrongfully detained and must be allowed to come home. We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal. And I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, move us toward a resolution.
Naturally, Secretary Blinken was not forthcoming about the talks his side had with Russian officials but did seemingly stress that Griner and Whelan are getting the administration’s best efforts.
Speculation is high that the United States will offer Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the so-called “Merchant of Death” in exchange for Griner and Whelan, according to an Associated Press report. However, that news has yet to be officially confirmed.