WNBA star Brittney Griner has been freed from imprisonment in Russia, senior U.S. officials have confirmed to ABC News.
Griner was released in exchange for the freeing of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was serving a 25-year sentence in Illinois.
The swap reportedly took place at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
In remarks Thursday morning, with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, by his side, President Joe Biden said Griner is “safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home.”
Griner had been held in a pre-trial detention center in Moscow since she was detained there in February for carrying a small number of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. The U.S. accused Russia of using the incident to seize Griner as a political bargaining chip. A Russian court recently upheld her nine-year sentence and transferred her to a prison camp somewhere outside the capital.
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