Biden’s US-Russian Prisoner Swap: What About Brittney Griner And Paul Whelan?

By Maureen Meehan

The Biden administration participated in a prisoner swap with Russia last week involving the trade of a convicted Russian drug smuggler jailed in Connecticut for Trevor Reed, a Maritime veteran imprisoned in Russia considering the fact that 2019. Meanwhile, the destiny of WNBA superstar Brittney Griner and former marine Paul Whelan remains unclear.

What is distinct is that leaders in Washington and Moscow are however talking to each other, irrespective of the each day sputtering and saber-rattling next Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Illustrations or photos

Brittney Griner

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested at the airport in Moscow on Feb. 17 for allegedly possessing hashish oil in her baggage.

Like other female athletes who play abroad in the course of the off-year for added income, Griner experienced been actively playing on a Russian team for the earlier seven yrs. The substantial gender shell out hole in expert sports activities locations women of all ages at further risk.

Paul Whelan

Whelan, a former marine arrested in Moscow in 2018, was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 16 years of difficult labor and is still getting held in Russia.

For both Griner and Whelan, Reed’s launch most likely provoked disappointment at staying still left guiding, especially realizing that these types of discounts are even now probable, irrespective of the vitriol between the White Home and Kremlin.

Whelan Expressed His Problems Straight to President Joe Biden: “Why was I remaining powering? Whilst I am pleased Trevor is household with his family, I have been held on a fictitious charge of espionage for 40 months,” Whelan said from his Moscow prison. “Why hasn’t much more been completed to protected my launch?”

Griner’s Spouse Also Breaks Her Silence: “As I do everything in my electricity to get BG property, my coronary heart is overflowing with joy for the Reed household,” Griner’s spouse, Cherelle, wrote on Instagram. “I do not individually know them, but I do know the agony of getting your beloved a single detained in a foreign state. That amount of soreness is consistent and can only be remedied by a safe return house. For the Reed spouse and children, that working day is right now.”

Associated: Point out Dept: Update On WBNA Star Brittney Griner’s Detention In Russia

President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken released statements praising Reed’s launch and promising to carry house People in america wrongfully detained abroad.

NBC described that Biden administration officials mentioned they are “very aware that there are other People held in Russia,” and included that Whelan and Griner are “very much in our minds these days, even as we are so happy for the information about Trevor Reed.”

This report originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.