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WNBA Star Brittney Griner Receives Crushing News From Top Russian Official, “She Is Very Worried About What The Price of That Will Be”

Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool via Reuters

Disclaimer: This article may contain the personal views and opinions of the author.

The hits just seem to keep coming for embattled woman’s basketball player Brittney Griner in the after math of her much publicized arrest and imprisonment in Russia for smuggling illegal hash oil into the company.

After all of the press, attention, and lip service support emanating from fellow oppressed individuals such as LeBron James, there is still more bad news for Griner on the horizon.

It is now being reported by Yahoo News that:

An aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a recent interview on Russian state TV that releasing American WNBA player Brittney Griner from a Russian prison is not the “main issue” for Russia.

Griner was arrested at the Moscow airport in February of this year. According to a New York Times report, Griner — who has been wrongfully detained on drug smuggling charges for over eight months — has been moved to a penal colony with notably harsh conditions.

According to the Guardian, Putin’s close aide and the former Russian Ambassador to the US Yury Ushakov stated in an interview with Rossiya-1 that Griner’s release was not the country’s “main issue.”

He also claimed that Biden was only mentioning her due to the US midterm elections.

“In this tense situation, I think that he is thinking first and foremost about the upcoming midterm elections so he keeps emphasizing the need to bring back home the basketball player who was detained for drug smuggling.

However, it’s not the main issue that we are concerned about,” Ushako told Rossiya-1.

Yahoo News went on to report that:

Biden has spoken about Griner’s release in public on multiple occasions and met with her family in September, after writing the basketball star a letter in July.

The Biden administration also previously proposed a prisoner swap of Griner and Paul Whelan for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is jailed in the US.

The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

According to the Guardian, Biden has said that he would speak with Putin at the G20 summit if he were open to releasing Griner.

The Hill went on to report that:

“Look, I have no intention of meeting with him. But for example, if he came to me at the G20 and said I want to talk about the release of Griner, I’d meet with him. I mean, it would depend,” Biden said, referencing WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been imprisoned in Russia for months.

The Hill further reported that:

Global leaders will gather in Bali, Indonesia, next month for the annual summit of major world economies.

Griner, a star in the WNBA and an Olympic gold medalist, was detained in February for bringing vape cartridges with hashish oil into Russia. Griner pleaded guilty last month, but she has insisted she did not intend to break the law. She was later sentenced to nine years in prison.

The Biden administration has been working to broker a deal for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan, a former Marine who has been held in Russia since 2018 on spying charges that he vehemently denies.

So, it has been a rough sequence of events for Griner lately. In fact, we had previously reported that Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, described how she and Brittney are feeling as the WNBA star remains locked up in a Russian prison. In an interview with Gayle King of CBS Morning, Cherelle talked about Brittney’s emotional state. 

In February of this year, Griner was arrested in Russia. In addition to playing for the Phoenix Mercury, Griner has played for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinberg during the WNBA offseason. In the interview, Cherelle said that she considers Brittney a “hostage.” “On its face, it just seems like my wife is a hostage. To know that our government and the foreign government is sitting down and negotiating for her release? She’s a hostage,” Cherelle said

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