WNBA star Brittney Griner met with officials from the US Embassy in Russia
Griner was sentenced to 9½ years in prison for bringing less than a gram of cannabis oil, which is illegal in Russia, into the country. She has been incarcerated since her arrest on February 17.
Jean-Pierre said Thursday that Russia continues to reject a “significant offer” from the United States to “resolve the current unacceptable and illegal detention” of Griner and Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine also imprisoned in Russia.
“Despite the lack of good faith negotiations by the Russians, the US government has continued to pursue that offer and to propose alternative potential ways forward with the Russians through all available channels,” Jean-Pierre said. “This remains a top priority.”
The US government has a long time characterized Griner’s arrest as “improper detention.”
Last week, after a Russian court rejected her appeal, Griner’s lawyers said that they will consult with their client about the possibility of further appeals and that they intend to use “all available legal tools”. At the end of the appeal procedure, she will be transferred to a penal colony.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Maite Fernández Simon and Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.
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