Russia and the United States of America (USA) have agreed to a deal for the release of WNBA athlete Brittney Griner in a prisoner swap.

Viktor Bout, an arms dealer from Russia, has been released by the USA in return.

The 32-year-old Griner was arrested on February 17th at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is banned in Russia, were found in her luggage as the two-time Olympic gold medalist travelled to the country to play basketball.

The subsequent invasion of Ukraine by Russia complicated her case further as she became a political clutch for both sides.

Griner pleaded guilty at her trial saying she used the cartridges as medication to relieve pain from sports injuries and had made an “honest mistake”.

To no one’s surprise, she was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony on August 4th.

The 55-year-old Viktor Bout, meanwhile, was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a US court on charges related to his arms-dealing career.

Dubbed the “Merchant of Death” Bout had been selling weapons to rogue states, rebels and warlords in Africa, Asia and South America for almost two decades before being arrested in 2008.

The Brittney Griner swap between Russia and the USA is a rare case of mediation between the two countries since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The two countries also swapped prisoners in April when Russia released former US Marine Trevor Reed and the United States released Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko.

Russia, however, rejected Joe Biden’s request of adding Paul Whelan, a former US Marine also being held in Russia, forcing Biden to opt to get only Griner out.