American WNBA star Brittney Griner remains on trial in Russia on drug charges after she was arrested in February due cannabis oil found in her luggage, and it appears Russia is ready to discuss the United States plan to bring her back.
Earlier this week, news broke that the United States proposed a prisoner swap to Russia, sending Griner home in return for Victor Bout, a Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death” who is currently serving a 25-year federal prison sentence for conspiring to sell weapons to people who said they planned to kill Americans.
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he hasn’t been involved in any previous conversations with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken about a potential prisoner swap for Griner, he is open to a discussion.
“I will listen to what he has to say,” Lavrov said, according to ESPN.
Griner recently pled guilty to the charges as part of a trial that most experts agree is a political sham. Griner’s defense team maintains that while the WNBA star did bring the cannabis oil into the country, it was part of a medical prescription and done by mistake.
Though it’s likely that we’ll still have to wait for the Russian court to make an official ruling on Griner’s case before any prisoner swap takes place and it could still be some time before Griner is back on United States soil, it’s a welcomed update that the two nations both appear to be open to discussions.