Karine Jean-Pierre says US embassy staff in Moscow have FINALLY been able to visit Britney Griner in custody and says she is doing “as well as can be expected” without new negotiations with Russia
- White House says government has proposed “alternative” ways to free Griner
- Comes after a Russian judge rejected her appeal against a nine-year sentence
- The Biden administration made an offer to release her but said she received no response
- There were media reports about the release of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout
- Biden has said he could meet Putin at G20 to talk about Griner, but then he said the meeting won’t happen
- The US State Department again called for the release of Griner and American Paul Whelan
US diplomats were finally able to visit WNBA star Brittney Griner after a Russian judge upheld her 9-year sentence last month.
The State Department confirmed that US Embassy officials in Moscow were able to visit the basketball star, whose wife and family officials have asked to secure her release.
“We have been told that she is doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
State Department spokesman Ned Price announced the visit Twitter Account.
“You have seen firsthand her tenacity and perseverance despite her current circumstances. We continue to urge the immediate release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan and fair treatment for every American detained,” he said, referring to the former Marine Moscow, who has been accused by Moscow of espionage. Whelan’s family denies the charges.
“We have been told that she is doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters after U.S. Embassy officials called WNBA star Brittney could visit Griner
In July, the government offered to swap convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout for 32-year-old Griner and Whelan, CNN reported at the time.
The government has declined to confirm the details of a bid but has chastised Russia for not responding.
“As we have said, the US government has made a significant offer to the Russians to resolve the current unacceptable and unlawful detentions of American citizens Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan,” Jean-Pierre said.
She then gave an update on the negotiations that indicated the US had shown movement.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration has proposed “alternative” ways to potentially free Griner, though Moscow has not responded to the recent US offer
The State Department tweeted about the visit
The arrest came as Russian President Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s war against Ukraine
“I can also tell you that in the weeks that followed, despite a lack of good faith negotiations by the Russians, the US government pursued this offer and proposed alternative options to the Russians through all available channels for the future. This remains a top priority,” she said.
Griner was arrested in February after police said she found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport.
Griner admitted to having the canisters but said she accidentally took them with her while packing her luggage. She returned to play for a Russian team. The arrest came during a moment of high tension between the US and Russia the same month as Russia invaded Ukraine.