WNBA star Brittney Griner is currently held in Russian prison and starting her 9-year prison sentence for drug possession and smuggling. But millions of Americans are demanding for her release over a charge they consider unfair. Recently, the Russian government confirmed for the first time that Brittney Griner was part of a swap deal that involves arms dealer Viktor Bout and another American: Paul Whelan.
Whelan was charged for espionage and is currently doing prison time in Russia as well, the United States also wants him back in exchange for Bout. In a recent interview with Russian state Tass news, the head of North American department of the Russian Foreign Ministry offered a new update on the deal taking place.
‘Quiet diplomacy’ is continuing, and it should bear fruit, if of course, Washington strictly follows it without slipping into propaganda.
How long until we know if this swap deal will work?
Considering how much Secretary Blinken has pushed for this swap deal to happen, it shouldn’t take more than one month to solve this problem for both governments. The only possible issue is if Russia has a problem with swapping two prisoners for one. If these alleged ‘diplomatic’ negotiations are real, reason will prevail.
Exchanging two non-violent prisoners for one of the most notorious arms dealers in human history is a fair trade. In fact, the United States are already giving up too much by allowing Bout to escape prison. But political pressure that comes with Brittney Griner is the main reason this deal could go into effect.