Brittney Griner Aug 5, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; A sign supporting Brittney Griner (not pictured), who has recently been sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia, is displayed during the first half of the game between the Washington Spirit and Racing Louisville FC at Lynn Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: EM Dash-USA TODAY Sports

A week after celebrating her 32nd birthday while in a Russian prison following a drug conviction after mistakenly bringing prescription hashish oil into Russia, WNBA superstar Brittney Griner got some bad news as the appeal of her nine-year prison sentence was denied and her prison sentence was upheld. But despite the unfortunate ruling for Griner, it appears Russia is still willing to negotiate with the United States about her potential release – on one very specific condition.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Russian Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that Russia would continue talks with the United States about the release of Brittney Griner, as long as those talks were done in secret.

“We always say that any contacts about possible exchanges can only be conducted in silence under a tight lid on any information,” Peskov said, according to the Associated Press.

The two countries are reportedly engaged in ongoing negotiations as they try to agree to a potential prisoner swap that could send her home. Russia has recently revealed that despite the United States’ efforts, Griner’s release is not seen as a priority by the country. However, the United States has made it clear that they are remaining quite persistent in the negotiations.

[Associated Press]