Brittney Griner She has reportedly been transferred to a Russian penal colony, roughly 300 miles southeast of Moscow, where she is expected to serve a nine-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.
The WNBA star has been placed in Female Penal Colony IK-2 in Yavas, in the Mordovia region — the same area where American Paul Whelan is being held, according to Reuters.
Grainer’s lawyers said her transfer from a Moscow detention center began on November 4, but that has been confirmed by the State Department Russia has not yet officially notified the White House from moving it or to the place to which it was taken.
We are aware of reports regarding her location and are in frequent contact with Ms. Greiner’s legal team, however Russian Federation “Not giving any formal notification of such a move to an American citizen, which we strongly protest and disagree with,” Deputy Keynote Spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
“Our mission at our Embassy in Russia has continued to press for more information on her transfer and her current exact location. After such a show trial and unfair sentence, the Russian Federation is moving her from a prison to a remote penal colony.”
Greiner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on February 17 after Russian officials said she was carrying vape cans containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Despite pleading guilty to the charges, the Two-time Olympic gold medalist She claimed she had brought the materials with her unintentionally and had no intention of breaking the law.
She was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison in August and her appeal was rejected last month.
President Biden said last week He had hoped that the Russian government would be more willing to negotiate the release of Greiner and Whelan as the midterm elections concluded, but State Department spokesman Ned Price later said that Russia had not had any meaningful discussions on the matter.
“Well, the fact is, and what the President was alluding to, is the fact that the Russians have so far not engaged in the seriousness of purpose in the constructive approach that we would like to see. We put forward this substantial proposal, as Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken announced several months ago the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Grenier.”
The fact that Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner have remained behind bars — Brittney Grenier for 10 months now, Paul Whelan for over three years now — is testament to the fact that this process has not moved as quickly as we would have liked. You’ve heard us say this on our end. This The process has not been static. We have made this substantial proposal. We have had discussions with the Russians. Those discussions are continuing. We are continuing to look for ways in which we can secure the ASAP release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, so that they can be returned to their loved ones here in United State “.
Washington asserted that Greiner was “unjustly held”. Earlier this month, her wife, Cheryl Griner said She believes her arrest was “political”.