The United States government has formally offered a prisoner exchange to Russia for the detained WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Griner, a player for the Phoenix Mercury, was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for alleged possession of cannabis and is currently on trial facing a 10-year prison sentence.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, announced on Wednesday that the US has now offered Russia a formal deal but did not disclose the details.
But according to CNN, the Biden administration has offered Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States, as part of the exchange for Griner and Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive from Michigan, who has been held by Russia since 2018 on espionage charges.
Blinken has requested a call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with the proposed prisoner swap among the planned topics of discussion.
Brittney Griner, on Wednesday, testified at her trial.
She has already pleaded guilty to the charges against her earlier this month as part of her defense strategy as she faces impossible odds to avoid sentencing from a stringent Russian legal system.
Quick sentencing will also aid with any exchange for her as Griner’s trial will need to conclude before any deal between the US and Russian governments is finalized.