President Joe Biden issued an announcement on the nine-year verdict for Brittney Griner, saying that she “received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney”.
“It’s unacceptable, and 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 and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible”, he added.
Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that “Ms Griner was unlawfully detained but beyond that, I really can’t comment”.
The National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, informed MSNBC that “she should have never been on trial to begin with. So there should be no sentence … We’re going to continue to insist as we must to have consular access to Ms Griner so that we can make sure we can keep that communication going”.
Concerning a doable prisoner swap with the Russians, Admiral Kirby stated that “we have made a serious proposal to the Russians to try to get Brittney and Paul Whelan … home where they belong. And we urge the Russians to seriously consider that proposal to act on it”.