Brittney Griner was arrested in February before the start of the Russia and Ukraine war for bringing in vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport as she was returning to the country to play for a basketball league in the country.
About 10 months later, just weeks before the Christmas holiday, Griner is coming home.
Griner was freed from a Russian penal colony on Thursday in a prisoner exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News.
U.S. and Russian officials have expressed optimism in recent weeks about a potential deal for Griner. A top Russian official said last week that a deal was possible before year’s end.
President Biden tweeted about Griner’s release. He was seen in pictures with Vice President Kamala Harris and Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner.
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022