After denying Brittney Griner’s appeal for freedom on Oct. 25th, Russia transferred the imprisoned WNBA star to a penal colony to serve a nine-year sentence for trafficking hashish oil while boarding a domestic flight with her Russian Premier League team in January.
The sports world was aghast at the news. A former Russian prisoner said Griner can expect “legal slavery” while incarcerated as the Russians do not focus on “correction or improvement” of prisoners’ behavior.
United States president Joe Biden has been one of the many people who have unsuccessfully tried to free Griner from imprisonment. However, Biden’s Democratic party made for a surprise showing on Tuesday in the 2022 midterm elections.
Fresh off the electoral victory that saw his party close to retaining control over the senate before the special runoff election in Georgia, Biden renewed his vow to free Griner, saying he was “determined” to do so.
“My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about a prisoner exchange,” Biden told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
Russia has yet to officially respond to Biden’s interest in renewing serious negotiations.