The release of Brittney Griner, a prisoner in Russia, is a “priority” for Biden


Freeing Brittney Griner, who has been jailed in Russia since February for drug trafficking, is a “priority” for Joe Biden, his spokesperson assured on Tuesday, indicating, rather laconically, that the president had read the letter sent by the American basketball star. female.

• Read also: The trial of American basketball player Griner was updated on July 7

• Read also: American basketball player Griner, detained in Russia, will be tried in July

“The president read the letter,” Karine Jean-Pierre said at her daily press conference Tuesday, without amplifying Joe Biden’s reaction to this missive with painful overtones.

“This topic is a priority for the president” and he “does everything possible,” the White House spokesperson said.

The Phoenix Mercury player was arrested in February when she arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in possession, allegedly, of vaporizers and a cannabis-based liquid.


The double Olympic gold medal with the United States (2016-2020) came to Russia to play there during the American off-season, a common practice for basketball players who sometimes earn a better living abroad than at home.

She appeared on July 1 in a court near Moscow for her trial, which was finally adjourned to Thursday, July 7.

The case is politically very sensitive, at a time when relations between the United States and Russia are at their worst, due to the invasion of Ukraine.

“Sitting here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, my family, my friends, my Olympic jersey or whatever I got, I’m terrified of ‘being here for always, ‘wrote the two-time Olympic basketball champion.

“I know very well that you have to go through a lot of things, but please don’t forget us, me and the other American prisoners,” the Phoenix Mercury player pleads in this letter symbolically deposited Monday at the White House, US Independence Day.

Karine Jean-Pierre, however, did not give more concrete indications on what the American administration is doing, pointing out only that several senior officials were in regular contact with the champion’s family and in particular with his wife Cherelle Griner.

“We want to end this practice, both in Russia and in any other country, of illegally detaining Americans or foreign nationals for political purposes,” Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday.

When asked about the criticisms of Brittney Griner’s family or teammates, who believe the mobilization should be stronger, he assured that the Biden administration does not want to “do or say anything that would jeopardize” the chances of a release.

“Of course we understand the desire of families to attract as much attention as possible to their personal belongings,” assured Ned Price.

Brittney Griner’s teammates have complained about the lack of attention, especially from the media.

“The indignation isn’t strong enough,” said Brianna Turner on the sidelines of a game against the Los Angeles Sparks.

“If it were LeBron James or Tom Brady he would be in the news every day,” criticized Sophie Cunningham, another player.


Leave a Comment