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Tags: wnba | brittney griner | russia | arrested | drugs

US Embassy in Russia: We're Banned From Visiting Detained WNBA Star Brittney Griner

brittney griner appears in a wnba game
Brittney Griner (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 May 2022 03:31 PM EDT

United States officials say that Russia blocked the U.S. Embassy from visiting detained WNBA star Brittney Griner multiple times in May.

In February, Russian officials detained Griner after allegedly finding cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage. Since then, Griner has reportedly had her detention stays extended at least twice, including in the last week.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Russia tweeted this statement on Griner's behalf: "#AMBSullivan:  For the third time in a month, Russian authorities have denied an Embassy visit to detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner. This is unacceptable. We call on @mfa_russia to provide timely consular access, in line with Russia’s intl & bilateral obligations."

Speculation is growing about Griner being a "political pawn," a potential payback for the Biden administration levying sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which started Feb. 24. 

Recently, the State Department declared that Griner has been "wrongfully" detained in Russia.

"When it comes to Brittney Griner, we are working very closely with her team. Her case is a top priority for us," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told CNN in an interview last month. "We're in regular contact with her team."

On Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson confirmed that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a private conversation with Cherelle Griner, Brittney's wife, according to The Hill.

The spokesperson said the State Department maintains regular contact with all families of those who are either wrongfully detained or held hostage abroad.

According to The Associated Press, President Joe Biden's administration has been under recent pressure from members of Congress, along with other groups, to prioritize Griner's release. 

In late April, the U.S. arranged the release of Marine veteran Trevor Reed as part of a prisoner swap that also resulted in a convicted Russian drug trafficker being freed from an American prison.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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United States officials say that Russia blocked the U.S. embassy from visiting detained WNBA star Brittney Griner multiple times in May.
wnba, brittney griner, russia, arrested, drugs
301
2022-31-17
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 03:31 PM
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