Brittney Griner freed by Russia in prison swap for arm dealer Viktor Bout
Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who was held for months in Russian prisons on drug charges, has been released today, Dec. 8, in a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to a U.S. official.
According to sources familiar with the negotiations, President Biden only recently gave final approval to the one-for-one exchange agreement reached with Moscow in recent weeks.
On December 8th, the exchange took place in the United Arab Emirates.
As of last Thursday, December 1, five former U.S. officials told CBS News that an agreement had been reached.
According to a White House representative, Vice President Kamala Harris and President Biden were both present in the Oval Office on December 8 during a phone call between Griner and her wife.
President Biden is expected to speak at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) at the White House about the prisoner swap that saw Brittney Griner released.
To secure Griner’s release, the president ordered Bout to be freed and returned to Russia. Biden signed the commutation order cutting short Bout’s 25-year federal prison sentence.