U.S. Embassy Officials in Russia Recently Met with Brittney Griner

WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is in Russia after being given a nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, met with U.S. Embassy officials last week.

According to a Twitter post released Thursday by State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, officials from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow met with the imprisoned basketball player.

People also reported that the White House confirmed the meeting.

“The State Department just confirmed that U.S. Embassy officials in Moscow were able to visit Brittney Griner today,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing last week.

She added they are trying to resolve what authorities consider a wrongful detention of Griner and are trying to negotiate for another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan.

“As we have said before, the U.S. government made a significant offer to the Russians to resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful detentions of American citizens Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.”

Last month, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that Griner had her appeal rejected as the court upheld the sentence given to her. The WNBA All-Star was convicted August 4 after authorities in Russia said vape canisters with cannabis oil in them were discovered in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

The ruling from the court stated that the time Griner spent waiting for her trial in pre-trial detention will now be counted as 1.5 days in prison. That reduced her prison time to about eight years instead of the nine she was sentenced to.

In negotiations with Russia, the United States offered a prisoner exchange in hopes of having Griner return to America. They have allegedly offered to send Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed the “merchant of death,” in exchange for Briner and Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage.