A Russian court found WNBA player Brittney Griner guilty on Thursday on drug smuggling and possession charges.
She was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison after a month-long trial and nearly six months after the basketball player was arrested at a Russian airport with cannabis in her luggage.
On Friday, one day after she was sentenced, Russia confirmed that it is in talks to swap Griner for Viktor Bout, the notorious “Merchant of Death” arms dealer who has been imprisoned in the United States since 2010.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “We are ready to discuss this topic but within the framework of the channel that was agreed upon by presidents Putin and Biden. If the Americans decide to once again resort to public diplomacy, that is their business and I would even say that it is their problem.”
The Daily Mail reported that the deal to swap her for Bout was on the table, and could be completed within a “matter of weeks.”