On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechayev confirmed that prisoner swap negotiations for Brittney Griner were underway.
A person familiar with the matter said the U.S. government proposed trading convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.
The White House says a phone call between jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner and her wife has been rescheduled after an earlier attempt to connect on the couple’s anniversary failed because of an “unfortunate mistake."
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner will remain in Russian custody through at least July 2 after her detention was extended for a third time.
The Phoenix Mercury center has been detained since Feb. 17 after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.
The State Department said Tuesday that it still pushing to have regular contact with WNBA star Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury, who has been detained in Russia for nearly three months.
Russian authorities said a search of Brittney Griner's luggage revealed vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. She has a hearing set for May 19.
WNBA star Brittney Griner, who remains detained near Moscow, is said “to be in good condition" after a U.S. Embassy official was allowed to visit with her.
Brittney Griner has not been seen since she was arrested in Russia last month after Russian officials allegedly found vape cartridges in her luggage and accused her of attempting to smuggle drugs into the country.
Efforts are continuing to free Houston-native and WNBA all-star Brittney Griner from Russian detention. She was taken into custody, before the invasion of Ukraine, as she entered the country to play basketball and is now accused of smuggling hashish-oil into the country.
WNBA players’ union president Nneka Oguwmike said on ESPN that the players planned to resume play on Friday.