US diplomats said they spoke with Britney Greener on Friday.


WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in court in Russia on Friday. Greener has been detained since February after being arrested at an airport outside Moscow.

US State Department Spokesperson said Washington Post US diplomats were able to speak to Greener at a hearing on Friday and said she was doing “as expected under these circumstances.”

The administration of President Joe Biden’s administration reclassified Greener arrested in Russia as “wrong custody”, adding urgency to US efforts to negotiate with Russia to return Greener to the United States.

Griner’s detention occurred after officials found an e-cigarette cartridge containing hash oil in her luggage. According to ESPN, the offense carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. She was returning to Korea to play for UMMC Yekaterinburg, a Russian club she played with during the WNBA offseason.

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Greener’s hearing on Friday came six days earlier, and now it can be a little clearer as to why. Russian state news agency reported that US diplomats had spoken with Russian authorities about the possibility of an exchange between a potential Greener and Russian arms smuggler Victor Butt. But according to Washington Post, this has not been confirmed by the US media and the State Department has not addressed the matter directly. Bout is serving a 25-year prison sentence for smuggling weapons into the Colombian Revolutionary Army (FARC) for use against U.S. forces.

Aside from the replacement of a match with Greener that could bring the WNBA star to America sooner, the next update on the Greener case won’t be heard in Russian courts until June.

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