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Biden speaks to wife of basketball star jailed in Russia

#Biden #speaks #wife #basketball #star #jailed #Russia

President Joe Biden spoke to basketball star Brittney Griner’s wife on Wednesday and told her he was working to secure her spouse’s release from Russian custody, the White House said.

Two-time Olympic champion Griner, who has been held in Russia since February, faces up to 10 years in prison for smuggling cannabis vape cartridges into the country.

“President Biden, along with Vice President Harris, spoke today with Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner, who is being wrongly held in Russia in intolerable circumstances,” the White House said in a statement.

“The President called Cherelle to reassure her that he was working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible,” and read her a draft of a letter he’s sending to the WNBA star, he added.

Griner, 31, was arrested in the days before Russia began its all-out attack on Ukraine, prompting the United States and its allies to impose unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow.

Her case has become one of many sticking points in US-Russia relations, with Washington tasking its special envoy with the hostage case.

In a handwritten letter presented to the White House on US Independence Day, Griner had asked Biden to help her free her from Russian prison.

“I realize you are involved in so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American inmates,” Griner wrote. “Please do whatever you can to bring us home.”

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