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The sentencing of American basketball player Brittney Griner to 9 years in prison in Russia for drug trafficking, in the context of very tense relations with Russia, has caused a lot of reaction in the United States.
With our correspondent in Washington, Guillaume Naudin
It was the White House that was the first to react with a press release. The judgment is not a surprise for Joe Biden. The prison sentence is just a reminder of what everyone already knew: Russia is improperly detaining Brittney Griner.
The American president is calling for her immediate release so that she can be reunited with her wife, relatives, friends and teammates. Same condemnation from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who expresses his concerns about the Russian judicial system and its use by power. The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee uses the word ” hostage about Brittney Griner, double Olympic champion and the sporting world is also mobilized. The women’s and men’s professional leagues express their support and concern.
American officials recall that a proposal for an exchange of prisoners is on the table: Brittney Griner and another American, Paul Whelan, who is himself accused of espionage, against the arms trafficker Viktor Bout, sentenced to 25 years in prison in the United States. The ball is therefore now in the Russian court. In other words, the decision depends directly on Vladimir Putin.
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