US could do ‘2-for-2’ prisoner swap to get Griner, Whelan out of Russia: ex-ambassador

Basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan will hopefully be released from Russia in a “two-for-two” prisoner swap, the former US ambassador to the US said on Sunday. UN, Bill Richardson.

“My view is optimistic, I think she’s going to be free. There’s going to be a prisoner swap – I think it’s going to be two for two. I can’t forget Paul Whelan,” said Richardson, who is an outside counsel involved in Griner’s case. and who is also the former governor of New Mexico, said in an exclusive interview with ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos.

Griner has been detained since February and was sentenced last week to nine years in prison after being found guilty of drug charges by a Moscow region court. she said she accidentally traveled with vaping cartridges containing hash oil.

Whelan, who worked in corporate security after the Marines, was convicted of espionage – which he and the United States deny.

As for Richardson’s role in the ongoing detainee negotiations, he told Stephanopoulos he was a “catalyst” who “talked to the Russians.”

This is news in development. Please check for updates.

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