The USA mentioned Tuesday that Russia has unjustly detained basketball star Brittney Griner, a discovering that steps up efforts to free her greater than two months after she was seized in Moscow.
“The Division of State has decided that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner,” a State Division spokesperson mentioned.
Calling Americans’ security “among the many highest priorities of the U.S. authorities,” the spokesperson mentioned the State Division would “present applicable assist” to Griner.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained at Moscow’s airport on February 17 on costs of carrying in her baggage vape cartridges with hashish oil, which is prohibited in Russia.
Washington had earlier been granted consular entry however had stopped wanting commenting on the character of her detention.
The discovering comes practically per week after america and Russia exchanged prisoners, a scene paying homage to the Chilly Conflict amid hovering tensions over Moscow’s invasion in Ukraine.
Russia within the final trade freed Trevor Reed, a former U.S. Marine accused of drunkenly combating with police.
The USA additionally says that Russia has unjustly detained Paul Whelan, a former safety official at a car components firm who was sentenced to 16 years in jail on espionage costs.
Griner, 31, is taken into account among the many best feminine basketball gamers along with her talent at “dunking” a ball.
She was taking part in membership basketball in Russia earlier than the resumption of the U.S. season, a typical observe for gamers searching for further revenue.