File photo of women’s basketball star Britney Griner.© AFP
The White House says President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday with the wife of women’s basketball star Britney Greiner and told her he was working to secure the release of his wife from Russian custody. Two-time Olympic champion Griner – who has been imprisoned in Russia since February – faces up to 10 years in prison for smuggling cannabis vapor cartridges into the country. “President Biden, along with Vice President Harris, today spoke with Cheryl Greener, wife of Britney Griner, who has been wrongfully detained in Russia under intolerable conditions,” the White House said in a statement.
He added that “the president called Cheryl to reassure her that he was working to secure Britney’s release as soon as possible,” and read out a draft letter to the WNBA star. Sending
Greiner, 31, was detained in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, following which the United States and its allies imposed extraordinary economic sanctions on Moscow.
The issue has become one of the most important issues in US-Russian relations, with Washington handing over responsibility for the hostages to its special envoy.
Greener wrote a handwritten letter to the White House on Independence Day asking for help in freeing Biden from Russian custody.
“I realize you’re doing a lot, but please don’t forget about me and the other American prisoners,” Griner wrote. “Please do your best to bring us home.”
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