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‘Determined to get her home’: President Biden hopes to secure Britney Griner’s release from Russia

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With the midterm elections in the rearview mirror, America’s leaders are hoping they can bring Brittney Griner home.

The basketball star was arrested for drug possession at a Russian airport in February and later sentenced to 9 years in prison. Her lawyers say she is serving time in a Russian labor camp.

US officials accused Russia of using her as a political pawn and tried to negotiate her release.

“She is being detained unfairly. She must be released immediately,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.

President Biden says he thinks of Griner with renewed optimism.

“I hope that now that the election is over, Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about the exchange of prisoners,” Biden said.

Sullivan says that despite the fact that the United States has made numerous offers to release Griner, Russia has not agreed to anything.

“So far the Russians haven’t shown a willingness to engage in this back and forth to get an outcome,” Sullivan said.

Leaders are tight-lipped about the details of those talks because they say they don’t want to jeopardize any chance of a deal.

“I can’t stop it. I can’t give you any predictions,” Sullivan said.

Despite the work being done behind the scenes, President Biden says his administration will not give up.

“I am determined to get her home and get her home safely,” Biden said.

Griner’s team credits U.S. officials, saying they are “grateful for everyone’s support” as they hope to have her back in time for the holidays.


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