Vladimir Putin Spokesman Insists Brittney Griner Isn’t A Hostage & Gives No Sign Of Her Release Date

Vladimir Putin Spokesman Insists Brittney Griner Isn’t A Hostage And Gives No Sign Of Her Release Date

Four months later, there has been no hint of the release of Brittney Griner.

In February, WNBA star Brittney Griner was stopped and detained at an airport in Moscow after her luggage revealed vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. The offense could lead Brittney Griner to a maximum sentence of 10 years in Russian prison.

Brittney Griner

On Monday (June 20) Vladimir Putin’s (Russia’s president) top spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, showed no sign of  indication that Griner, 31, will be released from prison soon. In a recent interview, Dmitry Peskov denied Giner’s label as a Russian hostage. According to Dmitry Peskov, they do not intend to show favoritism being that there were

“hundreds and hundreds of Russian citizens that were sentenced for carrying hashish.”

Peskov says:

“Why should we make an exemption for a foreign citizen?” 

In May, Griner was reclassified by the State Department as “wrongfully detained.” She was transferred oversight of her case to the State Department Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

Peskov added:

“She violated Russian law, and now she’s being prosecuted. It’s not about being a hostage. There are lots of American citizens here. They’re enjoying their freedoms … but you have to obey the laws.”

Griner’s detention has been extended three times. The Phoenix Mercury star center’s recent extension leaves her incarcerated until at least July 2nd. Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, previously stated:

“It remains clear that BG is being used as a political pawn.”

Brittney Griner

Lindsay Kagawa Colas also urged American president Joe Biden to do whatever in his power to help Griner with her release. In April, a prisoner exchange took place with Russia’s release of former U.S Marine, Trevor Reed, and the release of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a convicted Russian drug dealer who was incarcerated in Connecticut.

Peskov stated:

“If you speak about the problem of security, of the continental security and global security, yes, it will be a long-lasting crisis. Russia will insist … that its security is ensured. Russia will insist, and we will never trust the West anymore.”

What are your thoughts on Brittney Griner’s incarceration in Russia? Tell us below.


Authored by: Tsai-Ann Hill