Griner is sent to a Russian penal colony to serve his sentence.Biden wants Putin to negotiate Griner’s release

American basketball star Britney Griner has been sent to a Russian penal colony and has served time on drug possession charges, her attorney team announced Wednesday.

President Joe Biden said later Wednesday that he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will be more aggressive in negotiating Griner’s release now that the US midterm elections are over.

“Now that the election is over, I hope Putin will talk to us and talk more seriously about prisoner swaps,” Biden said at a press conference.

For months, US officials have been trying to negotiate the release of Griner and another American imprisoned in Russia, Paul Whelan. But there are no obvious signs of progress.

A diplomatic resolution has taken on new urgency after a Russian court dismissed an appeal to her nine-year sentence last month. was convicted on August 4 after police said they found an e-cigarette canister containing cannabis oil in his luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

Her arrest came at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington, days before Russia sent troops to Ukraine.

White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said: “One minute is too long for Britney Griner to endure unjust detention in Russia.” “As I said before, the U.S. government has made important proposals to the Russian people to resolve the current unacceptable and illegal detention of U.S. citizens.”

Griner’s lawyers said she left a detention center outside Moscow on November 4 and left for a penal colony. Russian prisons are commonly known. The move was expected as she lost her appeal.

Such transfers can take days or weeks, during which lawyers and loved ones typically have no contact with the inmate. Even after her arrival, access to Greiner may be difficult as many penal colonies are located in remote areas of Russia.

Her lawyers said Wednesday they weren’t sure exactly where she was or where she was ending up, but expected to be notified when she reached her final destination.

In a statement highlighting the work being done to secure Griner’s release, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said the Russian authorities would allow the embassy regular access to Griner if necessary. claimed. Last week, officials from the US Embassy in Moscow visited Griner.

Griner, 32, who was detained when she returned to play for the Russian team during the WNBA offseason, admitted she had a canister in her luggage. He testified that he had no intention of committing the crime. Her legal team has filed a written statement that she was prescribed cannabis to treat her pain.

Associated Press