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Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving asked the question many have pondered Thursday morning: What’s going on with Brittney Griner?

On Thursday, a Russian court found WNBA Star Convicted on Drug Charges A few months later she was arrested at a Moscow airport with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her belongings. Greiner pleaded guilty to the charges last month, but said he did not intend to bring the illegal substance into the country.

The US government maintained it Griner “wrongfully detained” And made a “substantial offer” to the Kremlin to bring her and American Paul Whelan back home.

WNBA player Brittney Greiner, detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and charged with illegal possession of marijuana, sits in the defendant's cage after a court verdict during a hearing in Khimki, outside Moscow, on August 4, 2022.

WNBA player Brittney Greiner, detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and charged with illegal possession of marijuana, sits in the defendant’s cage after a court verdict during a hearing in Khimki, outside Moscow, on August 4, 2022.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

On the legal side, her lawyers said they would appeal the “absolutely unreasonable” ruling.

NBA, WNBA call Brittney Griner’s punishment ‘unfair and unfortunate,’ SportsWorld responds

But, the tensions between US and Russia With Ukraine still under pressure amid conflict, the timeline and likelihood of Griner’s release remains unclear.

“I think we need to recognize that a foreign jurisdiction has put its processes in place to handle a confessed criminal,” said Hugh Dugan, an American academic and longtime diplomat who served as the Trump administration’s special presidential envoy for hostage affairs. Fox News Digital of the complexities of brokering a deal.

“In order to sustain the false detention the White House needs to demonstrate how her nationality came into play in this case and whether there were other pressures on the White House by Russia and in conjunction with foreign policy matters.”

US basketball player Brittney Griner stands in the defendant's cage before a court hearing during her trial on drug smuggling charges in Khimki, outside Moscow, on August 2, 2022.

US basketball player Brittney Griner stands in the defendant’s cage before a court hearing during her trial on drug smuggling charges in Khimki, outside Moscow, on August 2, 2022.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Dugan continued: “Wrongful detention prejudices the defendant on the basis of nationality, specifically, in this case, American nationality. In fact, the White House must prove that leverage is exerted by Russia. This case certainly depends on the defendant’s foreign nationality and the fact that other national interests are obtained by Russia through this circumstance.” An attempt was made.”

President Biden released a statement Thursday calling the trial and subsequent sentencing “unacceptable.”

Brittney Greiner pleads guilty in Russia, but experts warn further action could have serious consequences

“Today, American citizen Britney Griner received a prison sentence, another reminder of what the world already knows: Russia is wrongfully detaining Britney,” Biden said in a statement.

“This is unacceptable, and I urge Russia to immediately release her so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and colleagues. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every avenue possible to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely. As soon as possible.”

But Dugan warned that such rhetoric could complicate negotiations.

President Biden is seen at Camp David in Maryland during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 12, 2022.

President Biden is seen at Camp David in Maryland during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 12, 2022.
(White House)

“The White House continues its strong concern and interest in a speedy resolution, [but] How Russia takes the White House announcements is another matter, and I believe the president’s continuation of false detention at this point could stifle Russia.

Rebecca Koffler, a Russian-born former U.S. intelligence official and expert on Russia and Vladimir Putin, echoed that sentiment, saying the process could be driven by political differences.

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“Brittney Greiner’s appeal, which her Russian lawyers say they will pursue, will almost certainly be rejected. Only after the pro forma legal process is completed can a real deal be discussed between Moscow and Washington,” she said Thursday.

“With the positions of Moscow and Washington currently irreconcilable — the former deeming Ms. Greiner deserving of nearly the maximum sentence for drug trafficking and the latter believing she was ‘wrongfully detained’ by Russia — this promises to be a long, long case. Vladimir Putin’s regime holds all the cards and the Biden administration, almost Nothing.”

A Russian court has convicted WNBA star Brittney Griner of drug trafficking and possession, prompting prosecutors to sentence the athlete to nine and a half years in prison.

A Russian court has convicted WNBA star Brittney Griner of drug trafficking and possession, prompting prosecutors to sentence the athlete to nine and a half years in prison.
(Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed last week that the Biden administration had made a “significant offer” for the return of basketball player and fellow American Paul Whelan.

The White House did not confirm the prisoner exchange, but reports indicated Victor Bout, A Russian arms dealer Known as the “Merchant of Death,” it may be a key part of that deal.

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Bout is serving a 25-year sentence in the US for conspiring to kill US citizens and providing aid to a terrorist organization, prompting concerns about the proportionality of their crimes in relation to a “justice” deal, but as Dugan explains, that concern is less important as the situation evolves.

Accused Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout walks past makeshift cells before his trial at the Criminal Court in Bangkok, Thailand on August 20, 2010.

Accused Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout walks past makeshift cells before his trial at a criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand on August 20, 2010.
(Christophe Archbault/AFP via Getty Images)

“The reality is that these human beings are trafficked on every side, and the terms of recovery are rarely ever proportionate to the gravity of the situation that brought them into captivity,” he said.

“An analogy I think of is that if you were playing chess with me and my pieces were made of solid gold and yours were made of plastic, it wouldn’t determine the outcome of the game. The same dynamic works in terms of who plays, how, what and when. The intrinsic value of the pieces. Anecdotal or incidental and in no way confers a handicap on one side.”