Home Sports Brittney Griner’s sentence puts spotlight back on strained US-Russia relations

Brittney Griner’s sentence puts spotlight back on strained US-Russia relations

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Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving asked a question that has so many pondered on Thursday morning. What’s Happening With Britney Griner?

On Thursday, a Russian court said WNBA star guilty of drug charges E-cigarette cartridges containing hash oil were found in her belongings months after she was arrested at a Moscow airport. Griner pleaded guilty to her guilt last month, but insists she never intended to bring illegal drugs into the country.

the U.S. government maintains Greiner ‘unjustly detained’ and presented the Kremlin with a “substantial proposal” to bring her and American Paul Whelan home.

WNBA player Britney Bryant was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after a court verdict was delivered at a hearing in Khimki, a Moscow suburb, on August 4, 2022, and later charged with illegal cannabis possession. Griner sits in the defendant’s cage.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Legally, her lawyers said they would appeal the verdict, which they called “absolutely unreasonable.”

NBA, WNBA call Britney Griner’s ruling ‘unfair and unfortunate’, sports react

but, USA and Russia The timeline and likelihood of Griner’s release remain unclear as tensions continue amid the conflict in Ukraine.

Hugh Dugan, an American academic and longtime diplomat who served as the President’s special envoy on hostage issues under Trump, said, “Foreign jurisdictions have used their processes to manage convicted defendants.” I think I have to admit that I made it work.” Complexity Fox News Digital brokering the deal.

“To continue alleging wrongful detention, the White House must consider how her nationality came to influence the outcome of this case, and whether the White House is being pressured by Russia and foreign policy. It is necessary to prove whether pressure is being exerted in relation to the issue of

US basketball player Brittney Griner stands in her defendant's cage before a court hearing during her trial on drug smuggling charges in the Moscow suburb of Khimki on August 2, 2022.

US basketball player Brittney Griner stands in her defendant’s cage before a court hearing during her trial on drug smuggling charges in the Moscow suburb of Khimki on August 2, 2022.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Dugan continued, “Unlawful detention would have to involve considerable prejudice against the defendant based on nationality, particularly in this case American nationality. It is necessary to prove that there was power. In this case, the defendant’s foreign nationality and Russia’s efforts to secure other national interests through this situation were strictly grounded. ”

President Biden released a statement on Thursday, saying the trial and subsequent verdict were “unacceptable.”

Britney Greiner pleads guilty in Russia, but experts warn next steps could have serious consequences

“Today, American citizen Britney Griner was sentenced to prison, reminding once again that the world already knew that Russia was unlawfully detaining Britney,” Biden said in a statement.

“This is unacceptable. I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly to ensure Britney and Paul Whelan, we will pursue all means to bring them home safely as soon as possible.”

However, Dugan cautioned that such rhetoric could complicate negotiations.

President Biden during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Camp David in Maryland on February 12, 2022.

President Biden during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Camp David in Maryland on February 12, 2022.
(White House)

“The White House remains very concerned and interested in a speedy resolution. [but] How Russia responds to the White House proposal is another matter, and I believe that the President’s continued references to unjust detention at this point will only irritate Russia.

Rebekah Koffler, a Russian-born former U.S. intelligence officer and expert on Russia and Vladimir Putin, echoed that sentiment, saying the process would likely drag on over political differences.

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“Britney Griner’s appeal, which she said would be pursued by Russian lawyers, will almost certainly be dismissed. The only way an actual deal can be negotiated between Moscow and Washington is through formal legal process. after it’s done,” she said Thursday.

“Moscow and Washington’s positions are currently irreconcilable, with the former viewing Ms. Griner as a drug smuggling criminal deserving almost the maximum sentence, and the latter believing that she is being ‘wrongfully detained’ by Russia. This promises to be a long-running, long-running lawsuit because the Vladimir Putin administration has all the cards, and the Biden administration has almost none.”

A Russian court has found WNBA star Britney Griner guilty of drug smuggling and storage.

A Russian court has found WNBA star Britney Griner guilty of drug smuggling and storage.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed last week that the Biden administration had offered a “substantial proposal” for the return of basketball player and fellow American Paul Whelan.

The exchange of prisoners has not been confirmed by the White House, but reports suggest that Viktor Bout, Russian arms dealer Known as the “Merchant of Death”, it could be a key component of that trade.

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Bout is serving a 25-year sentence in the U.S. after being convicted of conspiring to kill a U.S. citizen and providing aid to a terrorist organization, and his crimes have been linked to “fair” dealings. It raises concerns about proportionality, but as Dugan explains, those concerns seem less important as the situation evolves.

Suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout walks past a temporary cell ahead of a hearing at the Criminal Court in Bangkok, Thailand, August 20, 2010.

Suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout walks past a temporary cell ahead of a hearing at the Criminal Court in Bangkok, Thailand, August 20, 2010.
(Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty Images)

“The fact is that these humans are commoditized on each side, and the terms of their recovery are rarely related to the severity of the circumstances in which they were caught,” he said.

“The analogy I have come up with is that if you were playing chess with me and my pieces were made of solid gold and your pieces were made of plastic, it would not determine the outcome of the game. The same dynamics play out who, how, what and when.The intrinsic value of the piece is anecdotal or incidental and is not meant to handicap either side. ”

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